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The Whisperer in Darkness (2011)

 -  Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller  -  19 May 2011 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,174 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 31 critic

In 1931 H.P. Lovecraft wrote his classic tale of alien horror, "The Whisperer in Darkness". Lovecraft is now considered one of America's foremost writers of horror fiction, standing alongside the likes of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe.

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Hannah Masterson
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Charlie Tower
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Nathaniel Ward
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Astronomy Colleague
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Starlet
Barry Lynch ...
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Wife / Student
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Fort Admirer
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Porter (scenes deleted)
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Black Pharaoh
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Davis Bradbury
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Workman
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Train patron
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George Akeley
Matt Foyer ...
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Storyline

In 1931 H.P. Lovecraft wrote his classic tale of alien horror, "The Whisperer in Darkness". Lovecraft is now considered one of America's foremost writers of horror fiction, standing alongside the likes of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Details

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19 May 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kuiskaus pimeässä  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Albert first meets Henry, he lays all the documents he brought on the table next to his host. When soon thereafter he turns around and sees Henry asleep, there is nothing lying next to him. See more »

Crazy Credits

"Brain Cylinder Test Subject - Sandy Petersen" Sandy Petersen is the lead designer and principal author of Chaosium's role playing game "Call of Cthulhu", published 1981. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Entertaining modernized adaptation of an old Lovecraft story, but still faithful enough to its original source
24 April 2011 | by (Amersfoort, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

I saw this film as part of the "Imagine" film festival 2011 in Amsterdam. I booked it out of curiosity, wondering how a modern film maker would treat the 1930's source. I must confess that I'm not fond of most Lovecraft's stories. Though not having read any within more than 30 years, I'm still stuck with an impression of adjective-overloaded descriptions of monsters and their attributes. Many alternative books and stories in this same genre that I've read, attracted me much more. I'm prepared to accept that my reading sample was wrong and my bad impression is just as wrong.

The film makers decided to run the film in black&white, which did not hinder me at all. It even seemed the natural way after some minutes. I'm very glad that we got sound with the film. I hate intervening text boards showing the dialog, known from silent movies. In anticipation I was a bit afraid that parts of the film would develop slowly, not unexpected given the original material, but my fear proved completely unjustified.

The director was present at the screening and answered several questions during the final Q&A. We learned about the 350K$ budget, financed by the film makers out of their own pockets. They did the same for their previous 47 min short "The Call of Cthulhu", which paid itself back eventually. Understandably that several corners were cut for reasons of costs, but their love for Lovecraft did make up the rest. The editing of the material, as well as the pace in which the story develops, were adapted to match current speed expectations. Nowadays we cannot bear to watch 15 minutes of people reading letter fragments to each other, and this part of the original story was visualized differently for good reason. The finale shows a lot of action, and even some monsters. What these aliens look like, has been described by Lovecraft in much detail. These monsters could not be left out, or it would have left us strongly disappointed (said the director).

Back at home I discovered the original story in my own book collection. It was bought a long time ago (1978), and I completely forgot having it. When re-reading the story, I saw some changes by the hands of the film makers in order to liven up the original. As mentioned above, the exchange of letters between Akeley and Wilmarth has been dramatized considerably. And with good reason, otherwise we certainly would have dozed off. Further, the final outdoor scenes don't appear as such in the original story, and has been invented by the film makers, if only to show a few alien monsters and to introduce some action scenes. Maybe somewhat detached from the original, especially the plane scene, but such liberties occur often enough when turning a static book into a motion picture.

When leaving the theater, I gave an "excellent" score for the public prize competition. I can only applaud the design decisions by the film makers, choosing for black and white (no problem) but with sound (very good), and properly pacing the story to maintain a modern tempo throughout its duration. In other words, to a reasonable extent truthful to the 1930's style of film making, but not to such an extreme that it would be tedious for viewers A.D. 2011.


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