– This is why it’s still worth watching movies, when there are unique works of art like this being made. Yeah, it’s a bit of a bold statement but fuck it, this adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story really stood out; though flawless it is not.

– Richard Stanley hasn’t directed a feature-length fiction film in over twenty years, since his two (personal) cult favorites ”Hardware” and ”Dust Devil”. Add this one to the list as a worthy entry in his cinematic oeuvre.

– It won’t be for everyone (like his other films), that’s for sure. But this is the work of someone with a truly distinctive vision. And what a vision it is. And the sounds…

– Nicolas Cage is actually the weakest element. This is one of his unhinged performances for which he’s unfortunately become expected to deliver, which often turns a scene into unintentional (?) comedy. He does for alpacas here what he did for bees in ”The Wicker Man”…

From what I’ve read, his performance was deliberate, as director Stanley apparently wanted him to play it like Cage’s ”Vampire’s Kiss”. For my money, bad decision. His character is odd and over-the-top from the beginning when I think he should’ve been played straight.

– In fact, one aspect that is a bit hit-or-miss is how most of the characters are all a bit off-kilter from the get-go, with some weird dialogue throughout.

– I especially liked the teenage daughter, the Wiccan Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur). Some would complain that her practicing witchcraft brings nothing to the plot, but it’s a great character trait that adds to the overall unique mood of the film as far as I’m concerned.

– A big part of the mesmerizing quality of the film is the incredible score by Colin Stetson, Like Stanley’s other films, the music holds a *very* important place.

– I don’t remember seeing a better lightning sequence than here. Just beautiful. ”It’s drawing the lightning.”

– Honors the works of Lovecraft in its depiction of the unexplainable otherworldly, which is no small feat. The design, setting, and effects are incredibly well designed and depicted. A real achievement on what was apparently a six million dollar budget…

– There are also some very ”The Thing”-esque scenes/effects, which makes sense since *that* film owes some to Lovecraft.

– I often complain about the (to me) incomprehensible super-success of films like ”It”, which is generic and by-the-numbers at best. THIS is what a genre film with an actual singular style, vision, and personality really is.

See it on the big screen while you still can…

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