By: Orlok666 / Maniac E
Date: August 23, 2012

Top six H.P. Lovecraft inspired horror films

H.P. Lovecraft just celebrated his 122nd birthday and although he isn't around the living anymore his stories and especially the Cthulhu Mythos are still hugely popular amongst readers, gamers and film lovers. In these stories that revolved around the Ancient Gods (and sometimes just touch on their names) the mention of Cthulhu, Azatoth or Yog-Sothoth froze the blood of mortals. Legendary as well are the mysterious books that emerge in several stories, with the Necronomicon the most notable one. Lovecraft created a complex and rich world that was unique to the world of horror.

H.P. Lovecraft

It's no surprise that Lovecraft's unique vision has got numerous adaptions. Most of them aren't really that good due bad scripting, acting and special effects and they seldom succeed in visualizing the paranoia, psychological or the outright bizarre that are the trademark of the stories. We made a list of successful films that sometimes are inspired by Lovecraft, a downright adaption or in some cases just touch upon the legacy of the master of modern horror.

6. Castle Freak

Castle Freak

Stuart Gordon's "Castle Freak" is based on the short story "The Outsider". In this film John Reilly (played by Jeffrey Combs), his wife and their blind daughter inherit a castle in Italy after a distant relative passes away. They stay at the castle until they can liquidate the estate but soon they are plagued by unexplained noises, mysteriously broken objects, and the daughter's claims of an unknown nocturnal visitor to her bedroom. The castle hides a freakish monster that breaks loose, hungry for blood and John must find this monster before it kills his family.

5. Dagon


On 5 another one made by Stuart Gordon: "Dagon". This film succeeded quite well in adapting the novella "The Shadow over Innsmouth" (and a bit from "Dagon") into a feature length film. After a boating accident a young couple finds themselves in a small Spanish fishing town where there creepy inhabitants worship the ancient sea god Dagon. What really worked well in this film was translating the town and its inhabitants onto celluloid. Each of them has something fishy about him or her and together with a slight claustrophobic atmosphere this film manages to create a town you really don't want to stay for a night. If only for the badly maintained hotel rooms...

4. In the Mouth of Madness

In the mouth of madness

"In the Mouth of Madness" isn't really adaptation of one of H.P. Lovecraft's stories but we had put this in the list. John Trent is an insurance investigator who is hired to investigate the disappearance of the famous horror author Sutter Cane. Staying in the town Hobb's End, Trent begins discovering that the impact the horror author's books have on his fans is more than inspirational… In one of John Carpenter's last memorable film we find a lot of references that are Lovecraftian: Trent finds out the people in Hobb's End are a bit odd or is he just going mad himself? Also the visions of tentacled horrors are a reminder of Lovecraft. All in all, Carpenter created a dense, layered film in which even the viewer doesn't know what to believe.

3. Call of Cthulhu

Call of Cthulhu

This 2005 film is a little and not well-known gem. It was made by fans and had virtually no budget. Filmed in black and white and with old fashioned silent film techniques the brought "Call of Cthulhu" to life in a way we haven't seen done before to a Lovecraft story. Director Andrew Leman and writer Sean Branney managed to stay true to the story as well as giving it a superb atmosphere close to its inspiration. We covered this film before on our site so follow the link for the full review.

Our "Call of Cthulhu" review

2. Evil Dead II

Evil Dead II

While the Evil Dead II is known to most horror fanatics but thanks to Lovecraft's writing he created the Necronomicon a book to raise the dead and demons. Sam Raimi had been studying works of Lovecraft and was most impressed by the whole Necronomicon. In Evil Dead II the Necronomicon comes into play a lot more since Ash (Bruce Campbell) needs to fight of the demons and the undead to survive even with an possessed hand. The reason why it ends up on second place is more or less that there is only a small portion used from Lovecraft but the movies success makes sure this needed to be on spot number two.

1. Re-animator


In 1985 a sience fiction horror movie was unleashed upon us based on the H.P. Lovecraft story "Herbest West Reanimator". In Austria, the medical student Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) develops a serum to resuscitate the dead while working with a famous scientist that mysteriously dies. Herbert travels to Massachusetts and his application is accepted by the Miskatonic Medical University Dean Alan Halsey (Robert Sampson); then he moves to the basement of the house of Daniel 'Dan' Cain (Bruce Abbott) and starts experimenting. Again Stuart Gordon comes to us with a Lovecraft movie and this time with great success story wise and film wise. This movie ended up being one of the biggest top cult movies ever.

As we said these are just a few movies that in our eyes made the right turns and cuts of course there are a lot more Lovecraft story movies out there. But maybe we didn't do things right in your eyes or we are missing a lot? It could be, but do tell us what your favorite H.P Lovecraft movie is! Suggestions are always welcome you can discuss it here on our website or on facebook!

"That is not dead which can eternal lie...." – H.P. Lovecraft


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