The Whisperer in Darkness

The Whisperer in Darkness is an independent film based on a short story by H. P Lovecraft. The Lovecraft Historical Society has brought this whole project to life in a black and white, classic horror, 1940s style using a mixture of vintage and modern techniques with a process they have aptly named Mythoscoping. This is their second endeavor into feature films, following their brilliant 2005 silent movie, The Call of Cthulhu.

The story blends science fiction and horror as it follows Albert Wilmarth, a folklorist who initially dismisses old legends that nonhuman creatures inhabit the Vermont hills, but soon the evidence becomes difficult to ignore, and he decides to investigate himself.

The script is quite faithful to Lovecraft’s original story, although it doesn’t follow it quite as closely as they would like you to believe. The last 30 minutes or so detracts considerably, extending lovecraft’s story, and to be honest you can spot where the quality drops off a little, relying less on Lovecraft’s unraveling suspenseful story telling, instead favouring a combination of CGI and action. The production quality truly stands out, the sharp black and white photography gives it slick noir feel which is perfectly complimented by excellent sound design. The Whisperer in Darkness encapsulates the cosmic horror, otherworldly atmosphere of Lovecraft’s stories.

The only flaw in this movie is the ending, it’s easy to understand why the story needed extending for movie purposes; however, it feels a bit awkward and clumsy compared to the rest. The CGI is particularly awful, which should fit the films 40s style if it weren’t so obviously computer generated.

Overall, The Whisperer in Darkness is a love letter of love to H. P. Lovecraft. It has been made by, and for Lovecraft fans. Those dedicated and intimate with Lovecraft’s work will likely love this movie. Not a Lovecraftian? I still think there’s plenty of scope to enjoy this film. Don’t take it too seriously and expect a degree of tongue in cheek-ness, and you may just love it.

Our Rating: 6.7 / 10


  1. Where do these films play? Are they out in theaters currently? I think I would have to go into Chicago to find something like this. I’m thinking there is a special theater for films such as this?

    • A few of the films I review are in mainstream theaters, but most only get a very limited release in Independent Cinemas or film festivals, then maybe they’ll find there way onto DVD a couple of years later. I’m in the UK, so I can’t recommend anywhere in the US, however, I suggest starting at film festivals – I’m sure almost every city is host to at least a couple year 🙂 All the films on my site are recent release in one way or another!

  2. I too, thought The Call of Cthulhu was brilliant and was impressed with Branney and Leman’s approach, making it a silent movie and giving it the look of a film from 1925. This helps your mind to excuse the lack of realism of the monster at the end and even some of the other scenes that are less than perfect. However, their not using CGI in the film made it seem like an authentic 1920’s film, whether all the methods they used were known at that time or not. I have not seen, The Whisperer in Darkness yet; but your reveal of CGI use, (even bad CGI use) seems to go against the concept that made the 1st film so great.

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