Found another Lovecraftian flick, Dagon!
I made a decision to tackle the bulk of films out there adapted from HP Lovecraft’s work. Why, you ask? 1, because Lovecraft is one of my favourite authors. He created a far-reaching fictional universe that started an entirely new genre of horror. Many only know of Cthulhu, and many don’t even know THAT much. I’d like to shed a little light in that darkness. And 2, think of it as my tantrum or protest of sorts that Mountains of Madness has still never been made into a major movie. Bring on the Elder Things, dammit!
My previous Lovecraft review for Cthulhu (2007) involved a story about a small town overrun by inhuman cultists who worship an ancient water deity. This film, Dagon, involves a story about a small town overrun by inhuman cultists who worship an ancient water deity. Funny how that worked…
This is very much the Innsmouth story, much more of a faithful adaptation than the Cthulhu movie was. The only real change is the transplanting of the town of Innsmouth from the American East coast to the coast of Spain. Here we have a group of American boaters who are soon run aground just off the shores of a small Spanish fishing village. When a couple of the boaters attempt to find rescue, we are thrust into the conspiracy of a cult that has taken over a small town, preparing for the return of their ancient god Dagon. They can’t trust anyone, for any villager here could be a member of the sinister cult, and it becomes quite apparent pretty quick that the better question would be who isn’t a member of the cult?
We’ve got some decent acting from the main characters, especially our protagonist who just wishes he could escape, but is pursued constantly by an overzealous young woman determined that he is destined to bring their town into a brighter future.
There are lots of little nods to the greater Lovecraft universe, from the sweater the protagonist wears, to the hotel some of the plot takes place, to the look of some mutated cultists. You can tell the filmmakers took care in their representation of this novella, one of Lovecraft’s best I’d wager.
My only one major gripe for this movie is when the ancient being Dagon is finally revealed. It’s a mess. This is certainly a smaller budget movie, and therefore the CG work is not great by any stretch. But I don’t know, it probably could have looked better with some practical effects used instead. It really yanks a person out of the moment when that thing shows up on screen, yeesh.
To this day, Lovecraft movies have for the most part been pretty crappy. There just seems to be this lack of pedigree they can’t seem to shake off. And while this movie is by no means an amazing horror flick on its own, it is definitely one of the greater Lovecraft adaptations out there, which provides it with a ton of merit alone. Check it out!