The Call of Cthulhu–A Brief Movie Review

Back in December I posted about a silent film version of Lovecraft’s “Call of Cthulhu.” After some delays, here are my thoughts on the film.

All Hail the Art Deco Great Cthulhu
All Hail the Art Deco Great Cthulhu

I was impressed! Sure, the budget is tiny, but the “feel” of the film was dead on. It is hard to compare it to anything I have seen before because of the extremely primitive film techniques used. Remember that this was shot using early 20th century film techniques in black and white, with no sound. The silent film is a totally different beast from modern films. It is closer to watching a stage play than a movie. The exaggerated body movements and facial expressions do a reasonable job of substituting for dialogue. That and a few title cards convey the story very well.

I also suggest checking out the extras on the DVD and the website. How they made such a great film with a minimal budget, scaffolding and cardboard is quite impressive.

Even if you are not a fan of Lovecraft, “Call of Cthulhu” is worth a look. Fair warning, if you think “Friday the 13th” is the pinnacle of horror film making, then skip this film. This is a slow, inexorable sort of horror.

Trask, The Last Tyromancer



Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.

5 thoughts on “The Call of Cthulhu–A Brief Movie Review

  • February 6, 2009 at 3:09 am

    I have seen quite a few movies based on H.P. Lovecraft’s works but “The Call of Cthulhu” is the best by far. They really managed to capture the essence of what his stories where about. You don’t need fake blood and fancy effects to create a true horror movie. And by the way, if you get yourself a copy of the DVD make sure you watch the “making of” feature. It’s very intersting if you like to look behind the scenes.

  • February 6, 2009 at 11:05 am

    The one (minor, niggling) complaint I had with “The Call of Cthulhu” was that it didn’t look like it was shot on period filmstock. That aside, it stands up quite well.

    I also have a copy of HPLHS’ “The Testimony of Randolph Carter” on my DVD shelf; I really should get around to watching it soon.

  • February 6, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    I’ve been meaning to watch that. Glad to hear it’s good.

    btw, is that a scientology ad on your site? eew.

  • February 6, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    For some reason I have had some seriously strange ads popping up on the site recently. I am adding them to the banned list.


  • February 10, 2009 at 8:59 am

    gotcha. Good to know! 😀

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