The Music of Erich Zann
I am a huge admirer of the works of H.P. Lovecraft. I have read nearly all of his works, some on multiple occasions, and the few I haven’t yet read I’ll soon get to. Lovecraft typically has been seen as someone who is for the most part un-filmable. This is usually due to the descriptive nature of his work, how ensconced in prose, inner monologue and an atmospheric sense of foreboding that the psychological play of the written word can achieve far easier than a moving image. Those are just some of the reasons.
One recent excellent adaptation of similar length is The Call of Cthulhu by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society, they have a feature due out at the end of the month.
The Music of Erich Zann is a notable tale not only because of Lovecraft’s designating it as one of his favorites, but also because of the description of the eponymous music. This film is ambitious for tackling this story on that fact alone, and much of the time the music works it has a borderline-grating yet conversely captivating quality that Lovecraft alludes to in the text. The sound design of the film also works well in conjunction with it. There are great oblique angles thrown into the mix that build that sense of unease and hint of something outré.
The locations are really great and the film does well to play rather timelessly throughout. There are few hints of when this film was made, which allow it to be rather close to the Lovecraft’s text without being strictly period. The makeup work is rather good for the most part, but most of what makes this film click is that this film insists on the myopic world view of the mythos and that is most of why it works. The world beyond the walls of this decrepit apartment building is illusory and the reality of reality is being uncovered behind these walls.
This film is very true to the text based on what I recall of the story and builds atmosphere and dread and slowly builds to a huge wallop, that may impact the protagonist more than the spectator. I know from experience that an undertaking of a tale of this kind and size in a university production is quite an undertaking and the results are pretty impressive.
The Earth Rejects Him
Jared Skolnick has since made a new short film. This one is an original tale. What’s most intriguing is that most of it unfolds without the aid of discernible dialogue and it’s an elementary horrific tale insomuch as we see results and understand patterns, in short we witness results, and don’t necessarily discern the cause in a precise fashion, but understand it. This, of course, is by design. In a Lovecraftian way a curtain is pulled back here revealing a maniacal, terrifying underworld that we only understand enough to know we want no part of it, and in many ways that makes it more frightening.
You can view a trailer for The Earth Rejects Him below.
If you’re interested in this film it can be purchased here.