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The Dunwich Horror

USA 2009
produced by
Kenneth M. Badish, Andre Winkenwirth, Justin Jones, Leigh Scott for Active Entertainment, Bullet Films, Haunted House Productions
directed by Leigh Scott
starring Griff Furst, Sarah Lieving, Dean Stockwell, Jeffrey Combs, Natacha Itzel, Lauren Michele, Shirly Brener, M.Steven Felty, Collin Galyean, Jeffrey Alan Pilars, Richard Zeringue, Lacey Minchew, Britney M.Hurst, Victoria Patenaude, Jesse Barksdale, Marcus Lyle Brown, Joseph Diaz, Tony R. Lewis, Ronnie Stutes, Walter F. Brown, Billy Sutton, Lauren Norfleet, Kent Gable
screenplay by Leigh Scott, based on the story by H.P. Lovecraft, visual effects by Ross Edgar

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Doctor Armitage (Dean Stockwell) and his assistant Fay Morgan (Sarah Lieving) find out that someone is trying to open the portal to some netherworld, where the Older Gods are living, to grant them access to our world. However, to this end, whoever wants to open the portal needs the original Necronomicon, as all copies and translations of the legendary text seem to lack the page containing the incantations to open and close the portal. To prevent that, Armitage and Fay set out to find the Necronomicon themselves and team up with Walter Rice (Griff Furst) – Fay’s ex, incidently –, who doesn’t believe in this supernatural mumbo-jumbo at all, but he’s also the only one able to properly translate the book.

Fay and Walter are soon enough sent on a wild goose chase trailing the book, that even leads them to a hallucinogenically induced dreamworld, while rather out of the blue, Armitage is visited by Wilbur Whateley (Jeffrey Combs, who apparently has to be in every H.P.Lovecraft adaptation there is), the half brother of the half-human-half-monster being determined to open the portal.

Eventually, Armitage and Walter and Fay – who have since fallen back in love again – meet up at the portal when it already seems to be too late, as some purple cloud has already escaped into our world, but in a concerted effort and helped by a formerly possessed teen (Natacha Itzel), they manage to summon everything evil that has escaped back to the other side of the portal and close it, this way saving the world …

 

While there are a few decent H.P.Lovecraft–adaptations around, many a director have tried and failed to bring the works of the famous horror author to the big screen … and judging from this TV-version of The Dunwich Horror, director Leigh Scott is one of them. There is nothing in this film that would suggest in the slightest that Scott has even tried to bring any kind of Lovecraftian atmosphere to the small screen, rather most of the dialogue suggests that Scott has got his knowledge about Lovecraft merely from some reference book and has never even attempted to understand, to feel any of Lovecraft’s true intentions.

That said, even a failed Lovecraft-adaptation might be a good film in its own right, right?

Unfortunately, The Dunwich Horror isn’t, it’s a complete failure as a thriller, as it simply enough lacks thrills, lacks suspense, lacks shocks – instead it’s just 90 minutes of watching three people on a wild goose chase, with two of them rekindling their relationship in the process – which is actually dead boring. And a proper horror film should be anything but boring, right?

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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We're more than happy to announce that our film
There's No Such Thing as Zombies
will premiere at the IndieScream (online) Film Festival on October 28th 6:30 Pacific Time - click here - and frankly, we'd all be happy to see you there.

There's No Such Thing as Zombies is directed by Eddie Bammeke, written by Michael Haberfelner, and stars Eirian Cohen, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi, with special appearances by horror icons Lynn Lowry and Debra Lamb.

See you all there I hope, and if you can't make it, you can rent the movie for the fest's entire run until November 3rd 2021!