On the Shelf Review – The Dunwich Horror (2009)

I watched the new Dunwich Horror movie on SciFi, or whatever they’re calling themselves these days.

It was at the point, five minutes into the movie, when Henry Armitage was shooting lightning from his fingertips at the bat-winged coed possessed by Yibb-Tstll while his assistant, Valerie Fay Morgan, rolled marbles on the floor to uncover the Sumerian pyramid puzzle, that I realized this might not be entirely faithful to Lovecraft.

Nonetheless, I am willing to watch even an unfaithful version of a film, granted that it has good characterization, great location shots, its own sense of aesthetics, good special effects, or any number of other elements.  Based on that, the Dunwich location shots in Louisiana could be quite evocative, once you got used to the idea of Dunwich being in Louisiana.

The film also featured the Simon Necronomicon.  The title sequence using the sigils and the like was quite impressive, but its use in the actual film came across as cheap.  Then again, it might have been more impressive to someone who hasn’t spent so much time with the book…

Published in: on October 18, 2009 at 10:31 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have mixed feelings about the movie, but on its IMBd board the director Scott Leigh, posting as DirectorLeigh, seems to say that he was trying to make his own kind of Lovecraft story (rather than a straight adaptation of “The Dunwich Horror”) within the constraints of the producers and accountants dictating where to make it, how to make it, who the target audience is, and what it’s supposed to look like when finished. There is a lot of name dropping, and elements adapted from other Lovecraft works, and of course a very familiar version of The Necronomicon prominently displayed (most likely for its visual appeal, much as contemporary Satanist movies almost always use LaVey’s goathead-in-a-pentagram symbol). What gets me about this is, after going on and on about the missing page that will make the Necronomicon a complete and workable grimoire, we are told that the “original” version of the book does not exist, or rather, exists only in the imagination. Put two and two together, what does that say for Simon’s book? 🙂

  2. Actually, Armitage’s sidekick was Fay (not Valerie) Morgan, as in Morgan le Fay. I wonder if they got permission from Khem Caigan (or Peter Levenda) to use the symbols from the Necronomicon.

  3. Fixed.

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