I have heard that some people didn't care for this one, but you can't watch it thinking it is a Lovecraft movie. Lovecraft never translates well on screen. Watch this one thinking it is a crazy Nick Cage movie.
Sadly I did not see this one when it came out, but I had heard a lot of good (and bad) about it. Well the movie itself did not disappoint. I mean really, Lovecraft, Nick Cage? This has disaster written all over it but it gets pulled together well.
So the movie follows the story rather well. Well, as can be expected.
Our narrator, the unnamed surveyor, becomes Ward Phillips a hydrologist played by Elliot Knight. I have to admit I did enjoy that the narrator, our POV character, is played by a mixed-race, Nigerian-British actor who is very active in gay rights. Lovecraft would be so happy.
Nick Cage is at his Nick Cage best. Super serious when he needs to be, and bat-shit insane with an accent when the movie needs that. He reminded me of his characters in Vampire's Kiss and National Treasure. And let's not forget, Cage has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award. He is great as troubled Nathan/Nahum Gardner.
The sons are changed and there is a daughter, Lavinia played by Madeleine Arthur (who has some solid geek cred with credits in "Supernatural", "Legends of Tomorrow", "Tomorrow People", "X-Files", "Magicians", and "Spooksville"). Oh, and Lavinia, who plays a Wiccan, also has a copy of the old 1980 Simon Necronomicon. That made me rather happy to see, to be honest.
And Tommy Chong. Seriously.
Tommy Freaking Chong playing the "crazy man" Ezra/Ammi Pierce.
The hardest thing I think is to capture the horror of Lovecraft on film. I am not sure how many half-failed attempts I have watched over the years. In fact, I think the only good ones have been "From Beyond" and "Re-Animator". Maybe, MAYBE, 1970 The Dunwich Horror with Dean Stockwell.
What I REALLY enjoyed about this was I watched it with my two boys. We all love Lovecraft and we all love Nick Cage movies. So this was a nice treat.
This is supposed to be the first of a shared universe of Lovecraft films, but it did rather poorly in the box office.
NIGHT SHIFT Content
What NOT to use here? Might need to grab my 5e Cthulhu Mythos book and give this one a go using the Night Shift game. The characters can play the parts of investigators to the scene. My kids would LOVE that.