Film Review: In Search of Lovecraft (2008)

SYNOPSIS:

While shooting a Halloween news story on horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, reporter Rebecca Marsh discovers that the “fiction” Lovecraft wrote is actually true and the creatures and cults described in his writings really exist.

REVIEW:

The film “In Search of Lovecraft” is not quite a documentary or a straight feature, but rather a pseudo documentary using fictitious characters to unveil the mystery of Lovecraft’s legacy left in the occult world. We are joined by reporter Rebecca Marsh (Renee Sweet) in the midst of covering a Halloween event for a local but low level newspaper. It’s quickly apparent her distaste in the material she has been given as she struggles thru it to deliver on her bosses needs. Between takes she scoffs at the report and fakes it for the camera. Her assistant Amber Martin dances around and doesn’t help matters with her childish approach to the whole thing. Though Mike her cameraman stays with the report the whole time even going as far as to document the events between takes. In this sense the film becomes more reality TV orientated with a script to progress the action.

What Rebecca didn’t anticipate was that the Lovecraft assignment would lead her to darker avenues, quirky characters and an intrigue that has potential to be a break thru story. It appears that the material has a mind of its own as it calls in characters who do take the subject matter seriously and are in some sense afraid for there lives. Rebecca gets a call about a local expert Dr. D’Souza (Saqib Mausoof) and a number of locals to investigate.

This leads to the discovery of an old film which documents the truth behind the mystery. The mystery of course is that H. P Love craft didn’t just write horror stories but that they were based on truth and nightmares he encountered as a writer. The nightmares speak of bizarre worlds, tentacle creatures and extreme dark places that are in many respects a virtual hell. It also appears that this notion has been much kept secret for quite some time and has the potential to be a huge story in the making.

Set in the city of San Francisco, the assignment soon becomes a invitation into the threshold of terror as they find that not all fiction is false. Once Amber gets attacked by a dark force and ripped away into the night, they all start to fear for their lives. A decision is made to go visit a local but powerful witch to help protect them from the dark forces they have awakened. It is also when they discover the secret of the hidden tape that reveals an evil cult behind the legend. Nightmares become part of reality and strange hooded figures lurk about in the dark. Whatever HP Lovecraft was putting to text begins to reveal itself as a powerful but well guarded sect that inflicts the evil of Cthulhu on those unlucky to dig to deep.

David J. Hohl directs this feature. The film is shot low budget, with many of the effects being left to manikin props and easy to pull off scares. Though even in its SD look it still has its share of scares and creepiness. What breaks the traditions is that not every shot is confined to the camera man shots. Rather it is a mix of what he is shooting and then pull backs on the main action. So from this comes a product that may start to seem like reality TV but evolves more into film. The essence of Lovecraft is captured even in its simple state. This is a nice representation of making what’s due with what is on hand and not having to expense alot of extra frills. The frills may have heightened the presentation but I think as an audience we get the gist of the direction enough to take in what is being served up. Hohl has created a decent supernatural thriller that holds up just fine in its low budget nature.

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