Cthulhu
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Cthulhu

USA, 2007, 90 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Gay, Sci-Fi / Horror / Fantasy
Program: U.S. Features
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Daniel Gildark

Adapted from H.P. Lovecraft’s novella The Shadow over Innsmouth, this assured debut film from director Dan Gildark transplants Lovecraft’s creepy New England setting to the Pacific Northwest — and does for the region what The Wicker Man did for Scotland: It takes an already gloomy, eerie atmosphere and reveals the intense weirdness lurking beneath. Though the mighty Wicker Man can’t boast Tori Spelling as part of the package.
Following the death of his mother, Russ (Jason Cottle), a respected history professor in Seattle, treks home to his coastal Oregon village. A gay man who’s happily moved on from his isolated hometown, Russ hasn’t seen or heard from his family in years. His sister Dannie (Cara Buono) gamely tries to reintegrate him into the town, with mixed results. Her staged reconciliation for Russ and their father falls flat, but Russ does rekindle his deep (and complex) friendship with the rugged, sensitive Mike (Gus Van Sant regular Scott Patrick Green). When Russ spends time with Dannie’s friend Susan (a scene-stealing Spelling), things take a particularly weird turn. Stilted interactions lead to frightening encounters, as Russ attempts to piece together the town’s frightening, hidden history — and his family’s role in it.
A product of the same Seattle scene that spawned Robinson Devor’s acclaimed Police Beat and Zoo, Cthulhu also features the amazing camerawork of Sean Kirby (DP for both of Devor’s films) to amazing effect. The approach of the apocalypse never looked so absolutely gorgeous. — JONATHAN L. KNAPP



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