31 Days of Horror! Day 16

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Hi wow already at Day 16 and I haven’t abandoned this yet! I’m as shocked as you aren’t. Well dear readers today was another day of vaguely Lovecraftian movies because I just can’t even begin to explain how much I love Lovecraft and his emulators.

For those of you who don’t know, “Lovecraftian” is a term used to describe media that is either related to or inspired by (stylistically or otherwise) the literary works of H.P. Lovecraft. He was famous for writing The Call of Cthulhu, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, Herbert West – Re-Animator, and At the Mountains of Madness. And when I say inspired by I mean that they use many literary techniques that he really made famous, such as creatures from other dimensions or planes, fanatic cult rituals, creepy weird out of the ordinary small-towns, a looming sense of dread or fear of the apocalypse, people slowly going insane, the “old gods” or “old ones,” and bizarre, unpronounceable names (Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep, R’lyeh, etc). Movies like The Mist, John Carpenter’s The Thing, Alien, The Cabin in the Woods, Prometheus, and even Ghostbusters could all be described as “Lovecraftian Horror.”

Anyway, these are two movies that are most definitely considered Lovecraftian:
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The Last Winter (2007)
Ron Perlman! Yeah! Ron Perlman plays the foreman of a drilling company located in Alaska and some environmental guy is sent up to examine what they’re doing and make sure it’s okay to do. They are setting up to drill near the site of an old rig that shut down and left behind only a single white box. One night, one of the younger crew members disappears on a drive and comes back completely changed. After he begins to act strangely, other members of the crew start to act strange as well.

This movie was creepy but in a “wow being alone in the Alaskan tundra doesn’t seem too fun” kind of way. Ron Perlman is one of my favorite actors and he plays the part he always plays and he plays it wonderfully. The rest of the cast is good too. While this may kind of sound like The Thing at first, it’s actually way different. It’s not as claustrophobic as Thing and the supernatural aspects of this aren’t as apparent. This one is less about the paranoia and distrust and more about everyone being either scared or in denial about how they are all slowly losing it.

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Prince of Darkness (1987)
One of John Carpenter’s most underrated movies, Prince of Darkness is about a group of students who, with their Professor, are commissioned to examine as much as they can about an ancient jar of green liquid. It’s part two of John Carpenter’s “Apocalypse Trilogy,” with part one being The Thing and part three being In the Mouth of Madness. All three have some heavy Lovecraft overtones (though none more blatant than in In the Mouth of Madness).

The movie follows a group of students, their professor, and the priest (Donald Pleasance!) who asked for their help. They go to the abandoned church where the liquid is stored and begin working. They notice, on their way in, a large group of homeless people (one of them is Alice Cooper!) standing, staring. Also, lots of insects begin appearing in random places. As the students begin working, one of them (Susan? Radiologist, glasses?) is examining the liquid when suddenly it sprays into her mouth, possessing her. As further information about the true nature of the liquid (and also the true nature of Christianity itself! Deep stuff) is revealed, more and more students get possessed.

This movie should be a DAMN CLASSIC! It is criminally under-appreciated in this modern era! This movie deals with huge issues, such as the very nature of Christianity and the origins of Jesus and Satan and I can’t even begin to talk about it in too much detail because I’m tired and I wouldn’t want to spoil anything. So in other news, the make-up and practical stuff is great (as to be expected, it IS John Carpenter). The writing and acting are both solid (Victor Wong and Dennis Dun! From Big Trouble in Little China!). This is just an all-around great movie and I think it, along with In the Mouth of Madness should get WAY more attention.

Anyway that’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed my short lesson in Lovecraftian horror and you’ll start to pick up on it in the future. I have more Lovecraftian horror to watch, and also some classic stuff. Some obscure stuff too. Trying to get a wide range of movies going on on this list for both your benefit, dear reader, as well as mine.

TOODLE LOO.

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