The Whisperer in Darkness (2011)
Based on 'The Whisperer in Darkness''.
The film starts with narrator, Albert Wilmarth, a sceptic professor of Folklore in Miskatonic University reading some letters he received from Vermont. The communications reveal that strange corpses have been found in the waters left by a recent flood. Stories of such have been appearing in the local papers. Our protagonist publically debunks the rumours in a radio debate with writer of the weird, Charles Fort. After the show, Wilmarth, is approached by the son of the Vermont man, Henry Akeley, asking for help for his father. He tries to persuade the college academia with some proof in the way of photos of footprints, a carcass and some alien looking stones. Wilmarth is intrigued but is warned off by a fellow Professor.
The letters continue asking for help but then they suddenly change. Henry Akeley starts to say that he was wrong to misjudge these creatures and he didn't realise the benefit they were to him. Akeley goes on to ask Wilmarth to come to Vermont to visit and he's explain it all.
Arriving at Vermont train station, Wilmarth, is collect by a mysterious Mr .Noyes. He eventually makes it to Akeley's farm where he finds the owner weak and sickly. Akeley relates how he has talked to the creatures called Mi-Go (from a planet called Yogoth) and they plan to give him knowledge and help him travel the universe. To do so, he explains, that the human brain is transported in a metal cylinder. To prove his point, he shows him a machine and activates it allowing him to talk to a 'stored' human consciousness. Getting weaker, Akeley, says he will talk of it more later.
Wilmarth retires to bed but is woken by voices bellow - he listens in and discovers the Mi-Go and some human collaborators plotting against mankind. When they leave he searches the scene finding a lifelike mask of Henry Akeley and a cylinder marked with his name. He is interrupted by one of the collaborators (with daughter in tow) who reveals the Mi-Gos plot to invade Earth and that They are opening a portal to the stars on the top of 'Round Mountain'. Wilmarth heads to the mountain but not before hiding the daughter away in their family barn (which contains an old crop duster).
The Professor Stumbles across a portal opening ritual on the mountain top with Mr .Noyes leading the chanting along with some Mi-Go (who bear a passing resemblance to the bugs in Starship Troopers). Wilmarth throws a brain cylinder into the gate which closes it. The Alien go wild killing Noyes. Our narrator flees to the barn with the creature in pursuit. They attempt to escape in the plane but the girl is killed by the Mi-Go and they attack Wilmarth psychically.
The Professor attempts to crash the plane into the gate while a Mi-Go rips the plane apart much like a Twilight Zone Gremlin.
The prologue reveals that Albert Wilmarth survived but succumb to the Mi-Go and is relating the whole story as a disembodied brain via one of the Mi-Go devices.
The H.P Lovecraft Society do it again with another faithful and enjoyable adaption of the great authors work. This time it's filmed with sound on a slightly higher budget. This time they do stray some a little from the original story by adding a more decisive ending which adapts itself to film better and extends it to a full length feature. The inclusion of some scenes with Charles Fort were especially pleasing.
The acting in the film is top notch (though stylized to make it more melodramatic fitting the 1930's look) and Matt Foyer makes an excellent Lovecraftian protagonist. Where the film let itself down a little was the last reel which added an action sequence (to an action less story) - the scene lacked tension and felt a little tacked on to an otherwise great film.
The CGI used to create the Mi-Go was a little weak and cheap looking but it didn't distract too much and kind of fitted in with the vintage style of the piece.
Overall another fantastic production from the HPLS which leaves me to wonder what they will try to tackle next.
- The Narrator debates Charles Fort on the radio. Fort was an American writer who loved to delve into the weird, wonderful and the unexplained.
- Here is a great interview with the director and writer: A Talk With the Guys Who Filmed H.P. Lovecraft's The Whisperer in Darkness.
- Director, Sean Branney also adapted for the screen The H.P Lovecraft Society's The Call of Cthulhu (which directed by Whisperer writer, Andrew Leman). Leman is of course co-host of the wonderful H.P Lovecraft Podcast.
- Professeur Armitage (from The Dunwich Horror) is mentioned as borrowing a book on 'The Old Ones'.