“The Call of Cthulhu” (You think that’s hard to pronounce, try Mxyzptlk) is a rousing throwback to the silent film era, the time where horror meant the twang of the score, and actually paying attention, focusing on the horror of our actors as they face this menace. In the silent era, actors were more based upon their facial expressions and presence upon the screen, and “The Call of Cthulhu” captures the mood of those old silent films, with the sheer goth of HP Lovecraft. Granted, I’ve never read a piece of literature from Lovecraft, I know of the author, and “The Call of Cthulhu” is a work of love from none other than the source you’d expect. From the very beginning, director Leman engulfs the audience with thick tension and deep stark blacks and then keeps us in to this slow moving, but ultimately rewarding tale of the Cthulhu.
The main character seeks out this monster continuing where his grandfather left off, but what basically starts as a journey in to darkness through obsession, ends with something so much more sinister. Leman’s direction is gorgeous with wonderful set pieces, and beautiful cinematography, while the story’s tension mounts minute to minute for the big pay off. For a film that didn’t really seem to have a big budget, it sure had some fantastic special effects, especially in the climax where the sailors finally go above and beyond this legend. With skillful editing, the entrance of the Cthulhu in the climax makes for a very stunning finale that really had me sinking down in to my seat at many points. “The Call of Cthulhu” is a rare homage to the silent era that delivers the mood and atmosphere with near perfection.