3 Lovecraftian influenced things I like to watch

#1. The Thing

A group of researchers in Antartica encounter an alien life form that can consume and replicate its victims. Also it can turn into a writhing, shrieking mass of limbs and monstrous faces.

This movie is excellent. It’s probably my favorite John Carpenter movie and has Kurt Russell at his best as MacReady, the helicopter pilot at the research station who finds himself locked in a battle to save the planet Earth from an insidious alien being. It’s interesting too how foreshadowing is used in this movie, at the beginning of the movie MacReady loses a game of chess to a computer, but then just pours his drink into the computer, which mirrors his later struggles against an inhuman opponent and his unwillingness to surrender despite being outmaneuvered.

#2. True Detective Season 1

I consider this to be one of the better Lovecraft influenced tv shows I’ve ever seen. The premise is pretty simple, it’s a story that covers like a decade about two policemen, Cohle and Hart, (although they eventually stop being policemen) who are investigating a series of murders of children.

The Lovecraftian elements are pretty subtle. Cohle has had to do a lot of drugs and as a result has this kind of hallucinatory existence, and it’s impossible to tell if the hallucinations are actually connected to reality in some way or another as he sometimes gets useful information from them. On top of that, the bad guy, the Yellow King, is just this crazed lunatic. It all combines to a pretty great Lovecraftian mystery story.

The only weakness in the story is the non-lovecraftian love triangle stuff.

#3. Hellboy

Kind of the opposite of True Detective Season 1, where that plays it subtle, Hellboy cranks the Lovecraft up to 11. Hellboy is a half-demon creature summoned to Earth and raised by humans to fight monsters, but he is also the key to unlocking super lovecraftian horrors that will bring about the Apocalypse.

Unfortunately Hellboy isn’t a great movie, and I really wanted it to be. There are great moments in the movie, and it’s the same director as Blade 2 so it’s definitely got some well directed parts to it, but it just never really quite gels around it’s strongest points I think. Also it introduces a schmuck in the beginning of the movie to try and act as a viewpoint character when no one seriously cares about that guy. Guillermo Del Toro is great with monsters and Ron Perlman is great in two hundred pounds of makeup.

I should really watch this again now that I think about it.

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