Monday, April 4, 2011

The Economist explains why H.P. Lovecraft is unfilmmable and why we're better off without an "At The Mountains of Madness" movie



Good H.P. Lovecraft movies are few and far between, and The Economist thinks there's a reason for that.  Using the recent collapse of the big-budget Guillermo del Toro adaption of "At the Mountains of Madness" as a starting point, they take some time to explore the why's, wherefore's and howso's of the difficulties in making a good Lovecraft film adaptation. The main culprit:
The reason he has proved so difficult to adapt to the screen is that while his weird tales are full of monsters and curses and spooky books—all suitably cinematic—they are also peculiarly literary.

They go on to say that it might simply be impossible to capture the "cosmic awe" in Lovecraft's work on film.  To back this up, they claim the most successful Lovecraft film (in their opinion anyway) works because it's based on a somewhat non-Lovecraftian story:
The one complete success might be Stuart Gordon’s “The Re-animator”, but its comic tone is anomalous for Lovecraft, perhaps because he wrote this story for a humour magazine.
They directly and indirectly cite a few other reasons why we'll probably never see an amazing Lovecraft film:
  • Lovecraft's premise that fear of the unknown is the most powerful kind of fear means that once his monsters are revealed, they become less terrifying.
  • His part-human, part-monster mongrel creations in particular are scary because of the idea of them and what they imply, not because of how they look.
  • Lovecraft was never good at creating realistic characters or compelling character relationships, which are the foundation for good cinematic stories.
They also note that Lovecraft himself hated films and walked out of a showing of Dracula (and would have left Frankenstein but for the respect he had for Mary Shelly).  His work is much more suitable for theaters, where the minimal style and relatively small scale mean that "no one expects to see a heaving monster on stage." They conclude:
These theatre artists appreciate what Lovecraft understood: that the essence of horror is mystery and an actively wandering mind. No film director has made monsters with as much creativity and innovation as Del Toro, but if he directed “At the Mountains of Madness” he would give shape to its creatures, which would in turn domesticate them. As horrible as they looked, they could not approach the terror of what they might have been. Dormant, the project will receive an arguably happier fate, as fans can only imagine what they missed. The perfect cult film is the one never made. Lovecraft would surely understand.
(From "Stories of Darkness")

3 comments:

  1. There are two variations to the omega replica Formula 1 watch collection, the alarm and automatic. The automated adaptation is abundant added analytic priced and downgraded from the alarm version, but still a acceptable sports watch. The automated adaptation is bass down with a argent punch and argent sub-dials. The cast name is placed craftily beneath the 12 o'clock mark and the Formula 1 logo placed just aloft the 6 o'clock mark. The alarm Tag Heuer replica watch has a white or atramentous sub dials, agnate to the cartier replica automated version. However, it is the additional adverse that stands out from a lot of watches. It actualization a aggregate of three colors that anniversary covers 20 seconds. It is the ablaze colors that accompany the watch to activity while still advancement a able and admirable design. Not alone is it the absolute timing that makes Tag Heuer's watches so accepted amidst assorted antic events, but aswell the rolex replica admirable adventurous look. It's simple and chichi at the aforementioned time, with abounding of the watches accepting chronographs. Although there are watches in abounding altered sports, it is the watches plan with motor antagonism that has sparked a Formula 1 replica watch accumulating of its own. The Tag Heuer replica watch was initially alien in 1986, with abounding of the a lot of replica watches uk arresting racers antic the watch. There are several actualization that accomplish this accumulating angle out from added watches, but it is the ablaze colors that bolt the eye first. It uses a chancy but different architecture arrangement by analogous the punch blush with the accents put on the replica watches alfresco of the case.

    ReplyDelete
  2. and their impact on the Rolex Daytona salient features of the senior watch making history. Today, Breguet still with unparalleled innovation strength of Replica watches UK the forest dominate the world watches. Watch today as we bring home what Breguet watch handbagreplica a classic series, Reference Model: 5197BB/15/986.Replica handbags every one, no not combine simple low-key appearance, accurate travel time and unrivaled Replica Watches quality processing details,it’s all accurate fit for Western high society’s.

    ReplyDelete