10 Best H.P. Lovecraft Movie Adaptations, According To Reddit – Screen Rant

Some of the best horror movies have pulled their narratives from H.P. Lovecraft’s extensive collection of next-level horror short stories and novels. 
H.P. Lovecraft’s classic works of horror are often adapted to other mediums such as the upcoming Ablaze Comics project The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath and the 2019 movie The Color Out of Space. His short stories and novels have spawned popular monsters, such as the sea monster Cthulhu and the demon-like flying creatures known as Nightgaunts.
Lovecraft’s works are notoriously difficult to adapt as his stories tend to stray away from featuring strong character arcs and have monsters that are described in a vague and impressionistic way. That’s why direct adaptations of his works are scarce, but some directors take inspiration from him and craft “Lovecraftian” films. On Reddit, some users have listed down some Lovecraft adaptations that they think are worth watching.
Cthulhu is arguably Lovecraft’s most popular monster. However, it’s been long-established that adapting The Call of Cthulhu is a challenging ordeal, as translating the terror of being targeted by the Cthulhu cult is impossible to do on the big screen.
However, a 2005 silent film adaptation of The Call of Cthulhu somehow manages to capture the dreadful but beloved short story. Redditor Maelstrom_xiii is specifically impressed at how particular the adaptation’s “depiction of an angle that looks acute but behaves as if obtuse”. Despite being a small-scale production, The Call of Cthulhu is a smart adaptation that truly understands the source material.
Similar to Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Stories, Masters of Horror is a horror anthology show that had a two-season run on the cable network Showtime. One of the episodes is based on the Lovecraft short story Dreams in the Witch House, and is about a college student who uncovers a horrible plan that involves a scheming witch and her familiar that takes the form of a huge rat.
A Redditor named MoebiusPi says that the Masters of Horror’s take on Dreams in the Witch House is “well worth the watch” since it’s a “good modern adaptation with some well done and effective scenes”. The television adaptation is not fully loyal to the source material, however, it’s a good but truncated take on the Lovecraftian story.
The Lurking Fear is a Lovecraft short story that has been adapted on screen plenty of times. But it’s the 1997 Canadian film Bleeders that has been deemed a good adaptation by Lovecraft’s fans on Reddit. The movie is about a sick man who tries to find a cure for his unknown disease by going to an island where his family once lived. While he assumed his relatives to all be dead, he soon finds them living below the surface.
On Reddit, MoebiusPi notes that while the straight-to-video film looks bad due to its cover, it’s a “whole lot better” thanks to its twists. They also add that while it had “some interesting moments” that were weird, the ending of the film is very Lovecraftian, with the protagonist felting loyalty to his mutant-like relatives.
Lovecraft’s novella The Shadow Over Innsmouth has been adapted plenty of times in television, film, and even gaming. However, it is the 2001 Spanish horror film Dagon that has earned the praise of Lovecraft’s fans. The movie is titled after the predominant religion in a fishing village named Imboca.
According to Reditor Mothman131313 Stuart Gordon’s film is a “fun adaptation”. This may be due to the fact that it features horror scenes that transcend the genre and can even be considered camp. While its script and performances are mediocre, the adaptation greatly respects the source material and tries to stick by its concepts, even if it’s sometimes over the top.
John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness is loosely based on the Lovecraft novel At the Mountains of Madness. Carpenter is known for his memorable heroes and terrifying villains such as The Thing and Laurie Strode, so there’s no doubt that his adaptation can give justice to Lovecraft’s novel.
Reddit user Haldane409 believes that In the Mouth of Madness was “pretty good”. The movie centers on an insurance agent who investigates the disappearance of a well-known author. Unfortunately, his discoveries start to blur the line between what’s real and what’s fake. In the Mouth of Madness is celebrated for visually translating Lovecraft’s horror with success/ However, it fails to make the source material digestible, which then resulted in a narrative that’s relatively hard to follow.
The Whisperer in Darkness is another attempt by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society to bring Lovecraft’s works onto the silver screen. A part of the Cthulhu mythos, the film is about a professor who travels to Vermont to look into the mysterious creatures that supposedly roam its mountains.
A Reddit user named Rubiximus says that along with The Call of Cthulhu, the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s The Whisperer in Darkness is “worth checking out” as it also takes inspiration from the era the novella is released. The film “looks accurate to the era” as it features “‘30s black and white” visuals, so while the film does not aim to be visually impressive, it does capture Lovecraft’s essence and still conjures a terrifying atmosphere.
The short horror novel The Case of Charles Dexter has been adapted by American Director under the title The Resurrected. The film follows chronicles the investigation of a private detective into the activities of a chemical engineer, after the engineer’s wife suspects that there’s something paranormal happening in the cabin her husband’s family owns.
In a Reddit thread about the best Lovecraft adaptations, MC_Hawking notes that The Resurrected is a “pretty good” and “faithful adaptation”, but it is “largely unknown”. The film makes the necessary changes to update the story, and while it doesn’t carry over much of the nuances from Lovecraft’s novel, it keeps things interesting thanks to its exceptional practical effects and memorable visuals.
One of the best films Nicolas Cage has recently starred in, Color Out of Space is an impressive attempt at bringing to life Lovecraft’s ethereal monster, who in this case is a color emanated by a strange meteorite. The film primarily focuses on a family who is constantly terrorized by the color, which starts transforming them and everything around their farm.
Reddit user syzlakrocks says that they “really enjoyed” Color Out of Space as it honored “Lovecraft’s overall approach and themes” especially “with bits at the end”. The film doesn’t also fall short when it comes to bringing Lovecraftian monsters to life and the fused mother-and-son creature will surely haunt viewers for life.
A loose adaptation of The Dunwich Horror has been attempted by American director Daniel Haller in the seventies. Just like the novel, the movie features a supernatural ritual from the mystical book the Necronomicon. It follows an occult expert who tries to save a student who is being planned to be used as a sacrificial lamb for a nefarious ritual.
Redditor Antnommer highlights how the film adaptation is mostly “faithful to the source material”. The movie also goes above and beyond by featuring phenomenal special effects and an effectively eerie score. However, many critics are divided due to the mediocre performances of the film's actors, which is hard to avoid given how terrifying and ridiculous the final act of the film is.
Another great attempt at highlighting Lovecraft’s love for science fiction horror is the film From Beyond. The plot of the film focuses on two scientists who use a device that’s meant to stimulate the pineal gland. Unknown to them, their experiments have conjured terrifying creatures who have the power to transform humans into twisted monsters.
Touching on themes such as greed, human consciousness, and mental health, From Beyond is a gruesome horror film that deserves praise from Lovecraft’s fans. In a Reddit comment, agreatbecoming proclaims that it’s a “great adaptation that also updates the action to a contemporary setting”. But its success is to be expected since it’s made by the same team who made the positively-received Lovecraftian horror film Re-Animator.
NEXT: The 10 Best Lovecraftian Horror Video Games, Ranked
Jom is a freelance writer for Screen Rant. His love of pop and geek culture stems from years of watching TV shows and exploring the internet from under the covers of his bed. When he's not busy writing, he can be found playing games on his Switch or listening to new records.


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