Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
The Whisperer in Darkness (2011) Directed by Sean Branney from the story by H.P. Lovecraft.
“The whole matter began, so far as I am concerned, with the historic and unprecedented Vermont floods of November 3, 1927.” –Professor Albert Wilmarth
Hold on to your hats; this is another production by the Howard Phillips Lovecraft Historical Society. Yes, this is a GOOD and FAITHFUL adaptation of HPL’s work to the screen.
Like they did with The Call of Cthulhu, the film recreates as much of the time of the story’s writing as it can, partially by filming in Mythoscope, which means using technology available at the time of writing. In this case, since it follows The Jazz Singer, we have a talkie! (Disclaimer; this production is not pure Mythoscope, since it actually features a few scenes with CGI. Purism is one thing, but making the movie work came first.) Filmed in black and white, with entirely period costuming, and carefully chosen sets, the film transports you back to 1927, and the strange events that took place in Vermont that year.
Professor Albert Wilmarth (Matt Foyer) is drawn into a web of events transpiring in the hills of Vermont by two factors; one, the letters of Henry Akeley, a farmer in that region, who sends his son George (Joe Sofranko) to enlist Wilmarth’s aid, and two, the professional rivalry (and badly wounded ego) between him and Dr. Charles Fort (Andrew Leman). While Wilmarth maintains that folklore shapes the things that people imaging, Fort holds forth that every myth must have its origin in some real world event, creature, or psychological need. In a broadcast debate, Wilmarth’s own unwillingness to investigate the strange events in Vermont give Fort a decided victory.
But when George Akeley produces photographic evidence, the drive to investigate becomes too much for Wilmarth. He agrees to examine the black stone the Akeley’s procured, and that seems to be bringing unearthly incursions upon their farm. George will bring it by on his escape to the warmer and safer climes of California. But George is never seen again.
Then a mysterious letter from Henry Akeley (Barry Lynch), typed, invites the Professor to visit, bringing all his research materials, and come to the farm, for he has made discoveries that lay all his fears and doubts aside.
For a smart man, Wilmarth is not very bright, and off he goes, with all the evidence in one satchel…
What occurs in the Akeley farm house would drive any man to the brink of insanity, but Wilmarth does not have that luxury, for if he cannot find a way to thwart the plans of the intelligences he finds there, then mankind’s rule of the earth is at an end.
This film differs somewhat from the original story. George Akeley and Charles Fort were never seen in the story. Wilmarth never encountered the mysterious beings on the hilltops. Much of the interactions were through the post. While that works fine for the short story genre, it makes for a boring movie, so a few liberties were taken with the story, but always with the purest of intentions, and with as much adherence to the book as could be managed.
The spirit of the thing, though, if infinitely true to the original, and the Historical Society has lovingly recreated the world, right down to the correct packaging of the box of Ovaltine. Understand too, that there are a few flaws; some omissions in the field of lighting and sound that could have more truly captured the grainy texture of the times. There were a few miscalculations in set design, like too small a picture for too large a space. These minor details show that this is, after all, an amateur production. But when you consider the overall impact of the story, the strength of the acting, the flow of the editing, and the firm command of pacing, it is nothing short of a triumph. This is the vision of Howard Phillips Lovecraft displayed on the silver screen. This perfectly captures the otherworldly feel, the numinous sense of dread that HPL so effectively evoked in his writing.
If you are a fan of HPL, or horror in general, you must see this film. If you are a fan of film, this proves that independent film makers can turn out quality entertainment at a fraction of what the big studios do. Whichever way you take it, just watch this film.
The Master of the Macabre: H. P. Lovecraft
The Color Out of Space
The Whisperer In Darkness
The Dark Worlds of H.P. Lovecraft (A Kindle Audible Book)
The Shunned House
The Last Lovecraft: Relic of C'Thulhu
C'thulhu (2000, the bad one.)
Colour from the Dark
Beyond the Wall of Sleep
Dark Adventure Radio Theatre: The Dunwich Horror.
Dark Adventure Radio Theatre: The Shadow Over Innsmouth
Dark Adventure Radio Theatre: At the Mountains of Madness
H.P. Lovecraft Collection III: Out of Mind
H.P. Lovecraft Collection I: Cool Air
Die Monster Die!
The Dunwich Horror
H.P. Lovecraft's Haunt of Horror
The Call of C'Thulhu (A Masterpiece!)
Dreams in the Witch House
Inspired by the Master's Hand:
The Courtyard by Alan Moore
In the Mouth of Madness
Read all 1 Reviews
Write a Review
Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Fit for Friday Evening
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older