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In Louisiana, the thirty-five year old single mother Lavina delivers a baby boy and a monster in the evil Whateley House. Ten years later, Dr. Henry Armitage and his assistant Professor Fay Morgan discover that the page 751 of every copy of the Necronomicon is missing and The Black Brotherhood has summoned the gate keeper Yog Sothoth to leave the portal opened to the demons and ancient gods. They invite the arrogant and skeptical Professor Walter Rice that can translate the Necronomicon to help them to seek the book. Meanwhile Lavina's son Wilbur Whateley ages very fast and seeks the missing page to open the portal. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Initially I was kind of excited to see that Jeffrey Combs was in the movie, so it was with some anticipation that I sat down to watch it. And I am a huge fan of H. P. Lovecraft's work and all the Lovecraftian work that followed in his wake. This movie, however, was somewhat of a lukewarm attempt, to be bluntly honest.
The story does stay fairly close to the story of the Whateley's as Lovecraft initially built it up, but at the same time there is a bit too much other loose ends thrown into the frame. Ends that are never really seen through and come full circle. In that way, there is a lot of things going on in the movie, too many things in my opinion, and most of these things doesn't really get to be concluded.
"The Dunwich Horror" suffered from a fairly weak acting crew, with most performances being mediocre to look at. Had they managed to put more enthusiastic people into the movie, it would have come out with a more vibrant and appealing result. And the dialogue didn't really help lift up the movie, because it was halting and at times embarrassing to witness.
What did work for the movie was Jeffrey Combs, of course. As always it is nice to see him in a Lovecraft-inspired movie. And his name is usually associated with such. Unfortunately, his character wasn't given enough on-screen time. "The Dunwich Horror" is not one of Comb's more impressive performances, but being a fan of his, I just had to sit through this movie. And aside from Combs, then the core essence of the Whateley's was also pretty nicely interpreted.
There was a bit too much name-dropping in the movie, with lots of references to places, people and such in the Lovecraft-created Cthulhu mythos. But most of this was irrelevant, and seemed to be put in there only to impress the really hardcore Lovecraft fans, people who are familiar with these names. To other people, it is just a bunch of random and pointless facts. The reference to (August) Derleth was, however, a bit surprising.
As for the effects and CGIs in "The Dunwich Horror", well, they were low-budget, and it was showing clearly. Hats off to them for their effort, just a shame that they didn't have a bigger budget for these effects. There were some shots where Yog Sothoth actually looked rather nice. So the effects weren't all bad. The storms that ravaged the buildings, well that is a whole other story. You have to see that to believe it!
In my honest opinion, then this adaption (or interpretation) of "The Dunwich Horror" is not really one of the better Lovecraft-based pieces of work around. Sadly, most of these movies are B-movies and often fail to leave impressions in the viewers. This is one such movie, which is a shame, because it had potential. Had they trimmed down the plot-lines and put in some more whole-hearted actors, the outcome would have been much better and would have had a chance to actually become noteworthy.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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