It's not everyday one gets to attend a worldwide premiere, but it seems the stars were perfectly aligned and I happily got to watch The Whisperer in the Darkness in a way I never expected to: in a proper movie-theater. And yes, I am indeed referring to the brand new, black and white cinematic take one the eponymous, brilliant and quite famous story by H.P. Lovecraft, that the ever-creative HPLHS has revealed at the SFF-Rated festival.
The movie, filmed to resemble a high-profile 1930s production, follows Lovecraft's story pretty faithfully and quite imaginatively, but only up to a certain point. Up to this particular point the movie is lovely indeed. The atmosphere works, the actors are more talented than your average Hollywood fare, the music is haunting, the special effects feel delightfully retro, the film's pace is successful and deeply lovecraftian, the directing is really good, the necessary mood is conveyed and everything feels old, dark and very mysterious indeed, having me believe I'm watching a true horror masterpiece. A movie better than HPLHS's very own, very excellent and very silent Call of Cthulhu.
Alas, this was not to be the case. After said admittedly vaguely defined point (sometime after the first 35-40 minutes in the movie, to be more precise) The Whisperer in the Darkness choses to drive madly into the realm of silly action, in what can only be described as an ill-advised attempt to ape mainstream movies. It obviously fails, while succeeding at alienating its intended audience. A fair and marxian verdict would thus be: close but no cigar.