Directed by Stuart Gordon
Teleplay by Stuart Gordon and Dennis Paoli
Based on the short story by H.P. Lovecraft
You would think that since I am such a connoisseur of all things horror that I would be familiar with the works of one Howard Philips Lovecraft. I’m not. In fact, my familiarity comes from Stuart Gordon and his adaptation of Lovecraft’s work. I have watched Re-animator countless times and I’ve seen From Beyond at least twice. I’ve also seen The Unnamable; that one’s not Gordon, but it is Lovecraft. So, I’ve seen H.P. quite a few times; but it is only recently that I have begun to read Lovecraft. So far I’ve dove into “The Beast in the Cave“; and I am now smack dab in the middle of “In the Mountains of Madness”. I know Lovecraft is regarded as one of the masters of the horror genre. So, with all that, why did I find Gordon’s adaptation of his Dreams in the Witch House a bit…underwhelming?
Is it because I’m not familiar with the work of Lovecraft? This Masters of Horror episode helmed by Gordon about a student at MIskatonic University (an H.P. staple) who moves into an apartment full of strange tenants, rats with human faces; and a witch who travels from world to world via intersections in time and space. The episode hints at Lovecraft, but it doesn’t seem to dig too deep into him or the short story it was based on. There are the Gordon trademarks; Dreams in the Witch House features a student moving into a new place the same way Herbert West did in Re-animator in 1985. Like I said before, I haven’t read a lot of Lovecraft; but I am smart enough to know when something’s missing.
Like Incident On and Off a Mountain Road in episode one, Dreams in the Witch House isn’t a bad episode of Masters of Horror; but it’s not a very good one, either. I like Gordon and I loved Re-animator; I just think that this would benefit from less Stuart and more H.P.
In this movie it’s the second time Ezra Godden has a character that wears a ‘Miskatonic University’ t-shirt in a Stuart Gordon film. The first one was Dagon where they both were involved.
On the DVD commentary for another Stuart Gordon movie called From Beyond, Gordon and Brian Yuzna mention that they had planned to make an adaptation of Dreams in the Witch-House in the 1980s after the success of Re-Animator. From Beyond ended up getting made instead.
- Masters of Horror Season One, Episode One: Incident on and Off a Mountain Road (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- [Zenopus Archives] Kingsport as Portown (zenopusarchives.blogspot.com)
- Uncollecting: DVD Double-Dip Shame Pile (badassdigest.com)
- Weird Tales of Cosmic Horror: The World and Work of HP Lovecraft (slideshare.net)
- 13 Days of Halloween Joe R Lansdale ‘Incident On and Off a Mountain Road’ Review (horrornovelreviews.com)
- Scary stories for Halloween (guardian.co.uk)
- Scream Factory Announces From Beyond Collector’s Edition Blu-ray for 2013 (dreadcentral.com)
- Movie Review: SINISTER (kealanpatrick.wordpress.com)
- Masters of Horror – Dario Argento – DVD, Blu-Ray and Streaming (besthorrorfilms.net)
- KoPoint Halloween Spooktacular: H.P. Lovecraft, Horror and Scary Stories (anewdomain.net)