Director/co-writer Bobby Easley’s shiver feast H.P. Lovecraft’s Witch House moves us backwards and forwards in time and space. It opens with a mad mathematician ripping out his eye, which turns out to be from an H.P. Lovecraft book grad student Alice (Portia Chellelynn) is reading. Her buddy Kelly (Erin Trimble) is assisting her as Alice just got out of an abusive relationship. Kelly helps Alice move into the Hannah House, which has a history of strange occurrences but is close to good old Miskatonic University (Go Fighting Sloggoths!). She fixes herself up in the attic room with help from the heavily tattooed Tommi (Julie Ann Prescott).
Alice is fascinated with the geometrical patterns in the roof of the attic. She is developing a theory of how certain angles in historical architecture were built to serve as conduits to other dimensions. As she delves further into her studies, the closer Alice gets to the forbidden gateways to other worlds that were built into the walls of the Witch House.
“As she delves further into her studies, the closer Alice gets to the forbidden gateways to other worlds…”
First off, while I am a huge fan of Lovecraft, I’m not a purist. I recognize that the format of his short stories, usually diaries that document other historical artifacts and references, cannot translate into faithful film adaptations. I also feel that Lovecraft movies do not need to be confined to the early 20th century period like the stories are. The Old Ones and Elder Gods are just as old and elder as they were a century ago. They are also still some mean cosmic f*****s. So if the adaptation veers far afield from the source during the process of modernizing the material, so be it. You have to remember Stuart Gordon’s well-loved Lovecraft adaptations had only the faintest connections to the stories they were based on, and they still worked.
The script Easley wrote with Ken Wallace is very much in that Gordon vein. It uses the source story Dreams in the Witch House as a springboard into a churning pool of weird gore and edgy sexuality. This means H.P. Lovecraft’s Witch House should go over well with the current tattooed spooky audience who dig Lovecraft, many of whom appear here. There is also the big improvement of having the main characters be women, as the original stories were total sausage parties. The queer element does teeter between representation and exploitation but is still very welcome.
"…it does have the hideous glow that horror fans will be drawn to."