Black and white films are cool. I keep moaning on about why nobody makes them anymore (we still have black and white photography, why not films?) and along come two black and white horrors in not that many years. The Mist is one of them (even though the studio neshed it and showed it in colour theatrically, see the DVD or Blu-ray for the superior version) and now we have The Whisperer in Darkness.
Albert Wilmarth is investigating some strange tales of creatures surrounding a farm in Vermont, believing them to be just folk lore. When he arrives at the farm, things happen to convince him otherwise.
I haven't read the original Lovecraft story yet, but based on the things I have read by him, this has the right feel and tone (more so than Re-Animator, funnily enough). The decision to film in black and white, in ye olde style, is spot on for the source material. The performances suit the style and never descend into parody. Like many Lovecraft stories it is a slow burner. Things take a while to happen as you slowly uncover more of what is happening.
The use of a miniature in the opening shots is again perfect to set the tone and style of the film, so it seems strange when later on there is some jarring use of CGI. The Brain Machine Projectory Thing looks great when it isn't working, like something out of the original 1931 Frankenstein, but as soon as the projection appears it just looks too modern. The Mi-Go later in the film look a tad too shiny and new for my liking. I think some CG enhanced stop-motion was used but I would have preferred them to have only used effects available in the thirties to maintain the style. The Mist gets away with using CGI because it is supposed to be set in the modern day; its use in The Whisperer in Darkness only serves to pull me out of the film. Not good.
To say that this has been made by The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, it is a surprisingly well made and acted film. It is good enough to warrant a DVD release and an hour and a half of your time. More black and white films please, Mr and Mrs Filmmakers.
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