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H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society's THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS (Trailers 1 & 2)


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#1 of 18 OFFLINE   SWFF

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Posted October 10 2010 - 07:51 AM

I came across this on UNFILMABLE.com, except there they had a second more up to date trailer posted, which got taken down, so, I haven't seen it yet. I then went to YouTube and found this initial trailer, which was posted back in March.


I had heard they were working on this adaptation, but had no idea it was done! Wow, this first trailer actually looks pretty damn good. Dying to find out what that second trailer was about. Have to keep my eyes open for that one.


I'm wondering how faithful it's going to be, though. I'll have to go back and re-read the tale the closer a DVD comes to debuting.


   



Trailer 2 is up and ready for viewing and it will without a doubt knock your socks off, pay close attention, or you'll miss the Mi-Go creeping along a rooftop just before the trailer ends. I think these guys may have out done themselves on this one!







#2 of 18 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted October 11 2010 - 03:35 AM

If their Call of Cthulhu film is any indication, this should be great.


That trailer could use some editing, though. (But keep the "Coming October 1931." Posted Image )


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#3 of 18 OFFLINE   SWFF

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Posted October 11 2010 - 05:06 AM

I just added trailer 2 to the opening post! You must see it!



#4 of 18 OFFLINE   SWFF

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Posted November 18 2010 - 09:39 AM

Here's an update on where the film is:


The Whisperer In Darkness Blog Update: 2 November 2010 Post. That's where we are. Much like the entry below, we are polishing little bits and pieces of the movie. We're adding chunks of music as Troy finishes them and sends them to us. He's forecasting completing the score in late November and that gives us then December to make final adjustments and to have the full professional audio mix of the movie done. Then we'll be ready to show it to someone. Once we get a final version of the film completed, we'll finally have a screening for the cast and crew - virtually no one from the production has seen the current version of the film.


We've submitted a cut of the movie to about half a dozen film festivals. We made a screener with a temporary score made mostly from music Troy composed for us on other projects. We send it off to them and then wait and hope for the best. We should start to hear back from the first of them in December.


As we've told you, we're hoping to get the broadest and best distribution deal we can for the movie. To that end, we'll be at the American Film Market in Santa Monica in early November, discussion distribution possibilities. So, no, we don't know when you'll be able to get a copy of it, but we're doing everything we can to ensure it's soon. 



#5 of 18 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted November 18 2010 - 12:50 PM

I checked out the website and the trailer.

I'm impressed. Really impressed.

The trailers are evocative of Lovecraft's prose and very much after my own heart.

This group seems imaginative, talented, and resourceful.

I want to see all the films they've done.

Can I buy them on DVD or Blu-ray?

How do I buy them?



#6 of 18 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted November 18 2010 - 12:57 PM

Okay, I found the link.

Lots of Lovecraft stuff to buy, including radio dramas and a silent film The Call of Cthulhu.

I'm going to have fun with this site, I can see it now.




#7 of 18 OFFLINE   SWFF

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Posted November 18 2010 - 01:02 PM

The silent THE CALL OF CTHULHU is their first flick, THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS is their second, and there are rumors they might be visiting Innsmouth with their third. Hope to God that's true.



#8 of 18 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted November 18 2010 - 01:04 PM

dvdaficiandao shows their DVD covers here:


http://www.dvdaf.com...ub_Lurker Films


Thanks for starting this thread, SWFF.

Wish I'd known about this outfit years ago.



#9 of 18 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted November 18 2010 - 01:17 PM

Just caught up with this.  Wow, thank you.



#10 of 18 OFFLINE   SWFF

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Posted November 18 2010 - 02:22 PM


     Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard--W 

dvdaficiandao shows their DVD covers here:


http://www.dvdaf.com...ub_Lurker Films


Thanks for starting this thread, SWFF.

Wish I'd known about this outfit years ago.



Their THE CALL OF CTHULHU clued me in to who they were, but I was never interested in it enough to buy it, basically because they went the silent route with it, but when they evolved this new one into a "talkie," and I saw that really cool trailer 2, I just about shit myself. That Mi-Go stalking the roof is a keeper, and it looks appropriately "Lovecraftian Moody."


I really hope that rumor is true about them adapting THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH. I'm a major Lovecraft fan--fiction and movie adaptations--and have a shelf in one of my video cabinets dedicated to the movies inspired by his works. I can easily see myself adding this one to it, too.


     Quote:

Originally Posted by Chas in CT 

Just caught up with this.  Wow, thank you.


I was beginning to wonder if I was the only Lovecraft fan on this board.



#11 of 18 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted November 18 2010 - 02:32 PM

I became aware of Lovecraft when I saw DIE MONSTER DIE (1965) at a Halloween marathon around 1970 or the year before. Then came THE DUNWICH HORROR around the same time. A magazine called Famous Monsters of Filmland talked about Lovecraft's stories as the basis of both films. Then I put it away, but every once in a while I dip my toe in. I didn't know there was a Lovecraft Historical Society and that they were making radio dramas and indy films. They seem talented and highly professional.


Lovecraft used the power of suggestion to build layer upon layer of suspense and tension. Like Val Lewton, he was a maestro of the power of suggestion. When he showed something, it was as a payoff, a confirmation, rather than an exploitation. That's why I enjoy Lovecraft. He was a fine storyteller. These film makers at the Lovecraft Historical Society, from what little I've seen so far, seem to get the idea.


Some other recent films adapted from Lovecraft don't get the idea.



#12 of 18 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted November 19 2010 - 12:07 AM

SWFF, have you seen some of the other low-budget, independently-made Lovecraft films? I'm finding a number of them on amazon that I never heard of. There's Pickman's Muse, Cthulhu, another Cthulhu, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadeth, Colour From the Dark, House of Black Wings, and others. Do you have any of these on your Lovecraft shelf? What do you think of them? What do you recommend?



#13 of 18 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted November 19 2010 - 07:01 AM

Shawn, if you're a Lovecraft fan, then you're doing yourself a disservice by skipping The Call of Cthulhu just because it's a silent film.  It's really good.


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#14 of 18 OFFLINE   SWFF

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Posted November 19 2010 - 08:55 AM




Originally Posted by Richard--W 

SWFF, have you seen some of the other low-budget, independently-made Lovecraft films? I'm finding a number of them on amazon that I never heard of. There's Pickman's Muse, Cthulhu, another Cthulhu, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadeth, Colour From the Dark, House of Black Wings, and others. Do you have any of these on your Lovecraft shelf? What do you think of them? What do you recommend?


No, I haven't bought any of those. I almost bought COLOUR FROM THE DARK, but the reviews I read of it seemed to indicate it strayed too far from the the story for my liking. And, THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE is one of my favorites, yet, having said that, I much prefer the Boris Karloff/Nick Adams version DIE, MONSTER, DIE, which isn't even in the realm of adhering to Lovecraft's original tale. Go figure. You might give COLOUR FROM THE DARK a look regardless, it's still the closest to the story any filmmaker has come to it thus far.


My Lovecraft shelf consists of RE-ANIMATOR, BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR, BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR, FROM BEYOND, DREAMS IN THE WITCH-HOUSE, HEMOGLOBIN, DAGON, DIE, MONSTER, DIE/THE DUNWICH HORROR (Double Feature) and THE RESURRECTED. I'm only missing CAST A DEADLY SPELL, NECRONOMICON and THE UNNAMABLE.

Originally Posted by Aaron Silverman 

Shawn, if you're a Lovecraft fan, then you're doing yourself a disservice by skipping The Call of Cthulhu just because it's a silent film.  It's really good.


You're not the first person to tell me that. It's just my interest in film stops at silent movies. I just find them far too primitive a medium to enjoy. I understand the visuals, however, in it are quite stunning. Some day, I might have to break down and just buy it, and see what all the fuss is about.



#15 of 18 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted November 22 2010 - 08:04 AM

FWIW, it's only about 45 minutes long, so it's not like you'd have to sit through 2 hours of silent movie. :)


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#16 of 18 OFFLINE   SWFF

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Posted November 22 2010 - 08:49 AM

Some day, Aaron, some day, I'll watch it.



#17 of 18 OFFLINE   SWFF

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Posted March 27 2011 - 10:33 AM

TWITCH FILM REVIEW: [Our thanks to Dejan Ognjanovic for the following review.]

The Whisperer in Darkness is the first feature length film by the folks from the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. Their version of The Call of Cthulhu (2005), directed by Andrew Leman, was a brave and surprisingly successful medium-length film (47 minutes) done with a lot of care and talent. Unlike numerous other flicks which (ab)use Lovecraft's name merely to sell yet another same-old creature feature and/or slasher, The Call of Cthulhu was obviously a labor of love, but also of knowledge about what makes the Great Old One truly great. It was shot in the style of a 1920s silent horror (which means: in glorious black and white), with period-style music and inter-titles. The Call... used the legacy of German expressionism in its high contrast photography and play of shadows, visible also in the stylized sets a la Cabinet of Dr Caligari with weird shapes and angles to depict surreal dreams and the non-Euclidean geometry in the city of R'Lyeh.  

The Whisperer in Darkness is a far more ambitious effort, and not only in terms of its running time (103 minutes). If Cthulhu was done as a re-enactment of 1920s horror, then The Whisperer, directed by Sean Branney, looks and feels like a long-lost noir-style horror from the 1940s. Shot in "Mythoscope", this time with sound, but still in black and white, it is clearly a letter of love and dedication to H. P. Lovecraft, one of the greatest horror writers of 20th century.

It follows the novella it is based on (published in 1931) pretty closely, up to a point, and deals with Henry Akeley (Barry Lynch), a farmer secluded in the woods of Vermont who discovers strange, not-of-this-earth footprints (that is, hoofprints; or are they clawprints?) around his home and begins to suspect a race of creatures from the distant gulfs of space abducting some men and beginning a clandestine invasion of our wold. He corresponds with professor Albert Wilmarth (Matt Foyer) from the Miskatonic University, who decides to visit him and decide for himself if there is any truth behind the letters and curious photographs he was sent.

This film is obviously made by Lovecraft's followers primarily for other like-minded individuals, with no big concessions made to turn it more commercial - although the action-packed ending, significantly altered from the one in the novella, may seem like an attempt to liven up things a bit and provide a more suspenseful climax than the original had, based as it was on a rather predictable "twist". The Whisperer in Darkness certainly has a far greater commercial appeal than its almost avant-garde experimental Cthulhu predecessor, but its intentionally old-fashioned approach (and black & white photography) will probably limit its appeal to the Lovecraft initiates, SF-horror enthusiasts and the remaining adventurous followers of the weird cinema as its primary target-audience.

Viewed as an adaptation of a genre classic, it is pretty well done, though the first half may seem too talky to some. It would've been nicer to see the creepy contents of the farmer-to-professor correspondence dramatized instead of mostly narrated and presented through dialogues. Charles Fort, a famous weird-phenomena enthusiast from the 1930s (when the story and film take place) has a clever cameo in an episode (not in the story) in which professor Wilmarth has a discussion with Fort, live on radio, about the modern science and its attitude to "wonders" and mysteries of existence. Lovecraft's twist about "the whisperer" is revealed shortly after one-hour mark, and the remaining 30 minutes or so offer events, action, chase sequences, creatures, horrors and visual concepts completely invented by the makers (the screenplay is written by Branney and Leman).

Some Lovecraft purists may find the action-driven climax too different from what the novella is about, but others will be happy to see the well-made scenes of flying creatures chasing the small airplane and the ensuing struggle. The CGI aliens are the only obviously modern visual element in a film otherwise pretty minute and accurate in its period setting and dedication to the style of vintage horrors. The design of creatures and their various alien gadgets are excellent and rightfuly reminiscent of the retro-futuristic machinery from the covers of classic Weird Tales.

My greatest complaint, other than too many "photographs of people talking" (as old Hitch would say) in the first half, would be the lack of sufficiently thick atmosphere in the Vermont woods. Lovecraft envisioned the plot based on his travels in the region, and conceived it as an exercise in mood and creeping hints of something sinister lurking in the silent and lonely hills and forests. There should've been more than a few brief shots of that in the film (some involving fine miniature work). Also, the ending resorts once again to the cliché of people in queer robes shouting incomprehensible things while invoking strange "Gods". This is not only done to death in practically every other "Lovecraftian" film, but is also utterly incongruent with this particular plot, in which the occult has absolutely nothing to do with its SF concepts. In a film pretty faithful to Lovecraft this is an unnecessary slip.

In terms of filmmaking, The Whisperer in Darkness is exquisitely shot and edited by David Robertson and very well directed by Sean Branney. The latter has already won the Audience award for Best director at the SFF-rated Festival of SF and Fantasy Film in Athens. The low budget origins are visible but expertly overcome by good costumes, elaborate production design and, of course, by the crisp photography. The loving attention to period detail is, after all, to be expected from the people who call themselves "H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society", and this adds to the intriguing viewing for those in the mood for such a blast from the past.

The makers certainly showed that one doesn't need 150 million dollars, nor Tom Cruise, to make a very good HPL adaptation. Besides, their actors' motivation is enthusiasm, not dollars, and this clearly shows in every frame of the film. They deserve success for their efforts, and if they continue their evolution along the lines already sketched, after the 1920s and 1940s hommages, their next film will be probably in color, styled after Roger Corman's and other AIP Lovecraftian flicks from the 1960s. Let's just hope they remain closer to Lovecraft's spirit than those.



#18 of 18 OFFLINE   CaseyL

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Posted March 28 2011 - 08:16 AM

These guys are great.  I've been looking forward to this for a long time.  I love the silent CoC, it was amazing, and if you get the chance on the HPLHS site, they have the DART (Dark Adventure Radio Theater) stuff that's equally great.  Some of the best radio dramatizations of HPL stuff I've heard.