Cthulhu (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

Cthulhu (2008)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Inspired by the works of celebrated horror fiction author H.P. Lovecraft, this apocalyptic frightener tells the story of a Seattle history professor who becomes caught up in a frightful and rapidly accelerating series of strange events after returning to his estranged family on the Oregon coast and discovering that his father is involved with a bizarre New Age cult. Upon returning home to execute his late mother's will, the professor enters into a long-awaited affair with his beautiful best friend from childhood. Later, the professor uncovers evidence that the members of his father's cult are anticipating a large-scale event that will forever alter the way humankind views the universe.more
Rating: R (for language, some sexuality, nudity and violence)
Genre: Horror
Directed By:
Written By: Dan Gildark, Douglas Light, Grant Cogswell, Jason Cottle
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 31, 2009
Regent Releasing/here! Films - Official Site


Cara Buono
as Dannie
Dennis T. Kleinsmith
as Reverend Marsh
Nancy Stark
as Aunt Josie
Ethan Atkinson
as SUV Driver
Lyall Bush
as Allen Combs
Grant Cogswell
as NPR Newscaster
Casey Curran
as Club Kid
Tarame Del Guidici
as Asylum Nurse
Eben Eldridge
as EBS Announcer
Robin Gordon
as Auctioneer
Ryan Gorman
as Writhing Bag Figure
Keifer Grimm
as Teen Mike
Nathan Ladd
as Boy Russ
Kellan Larson
as Blind Boy
Barbara Lindsay
as Evelyn Marsh
Liza Maslow
as Astrologist
Patrick McKnight
as SUV Passenger
Scott McKnight
as Prison Guard, Will O...
Jessi Meyer
as Jilly Bronstein
Brandon Mitchell
as Auctioneer's Assista...
Cary Moon
as Pacifica Newscaster
Sabrina Prada
as Soccer Mom
Tom Prince
as Gilibert-Bartender
Jonathan Raban
as BBC Newscaster
Megan Rider
as Walking Woman
Jan Sewell
as Anne Colder
Alex Stroud
as Hustler #2
Hunter Stroud
as Tenn Russ
Dennis Tracy
as Deputy Ben
Jasminka Vukcevic
as Victorian Woman
Ruby Wood
as Girl On Stairs
Brad Zeffren
as Local TV News/Radio ...
David Kirwan
as Bar Patron
Grant Cogswell
as NPR Newscaster
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Cthulhu

Critic Reviews for Cthulhu

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (4)

Too much about the movie is just amateurish.

Full Review… | September 12, 2008
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Cthulhu isn't awful, but it isn't particularly compelling either, as Glidark and Cogswell make their message so plain that it robs the story of its broader mysteries.

Full Review… | August 22, 2008
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Stuart Gordon adapted the story more conventionally in 2001's Dagon, and it remains the better bet for Lovecraft lovers.

Full Review… | August 21, 2008
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

The most fantastical plotline can be a perfectly convincing movie, but in Cthulhu, the acting is so emotionally unhinged and erratic it borders on camp.

Full Review… | August 19, 2008
Top Critic

High on ambition and originality and the closest we've come to a true H.P. Lovecraft film.

Full Review… | April 27, 2009

Lovecraft's The Shadow Over Innsmouth looms largest in this offbeat film's influences, and while it can't be called faithful ... it does have an authentically doom-haunted atmosphere.

Full Review… | March 3, 2009
Miss FlickChick

Audience Reviews for Cthulhu


Cthulhu is a derivation of the H.P. Lovecraft mythos with gay thematic material and Tori Spelling as a rapist. There aren't enough words in the English language to adequately express my disappointment that this isn't the brilliance that its premise suggested. In fact, it's desperate shit, a disastrously acted and overwritten mess. The movie first suffers a mortal aesthetic blow through its awful use of lighting and filters, making it unpleasant to even look at. Lighting is not difficult even on a microbudget but the poor execution here just reveals the film as an amateur effort. The lousy acting makes it even more difficult to watch. Jason Cottle promises decency, but half an hour into the film he completely loses sight of his character. By the end of the film you really have no idea who Russell Marsh is, besides an angry gay history professor who looks like an aged porn star. Childhood friend and paramour Mike turns in a fair performance, but he's only around when the movie is lost and needs somewhere to go, and his pivotal role in the ending is cheapened as a result. Everyone else is uniformly terrible, except for Spelling herself, who decides to play her part as camp with disastrous but compulsively watchable results. She doesn't fit in with the po-faced seriousness of the rest of the film, but since I'd totally lost interest by the time she showed up I was thankful for her.

There are times where Cthulhu actually threatened to be interesting; they found a good location to shoot it in, full of lush cinematic landscapes. If they hadn't gone so filter-crazy the movie would actually look pretty good. And come on, the concept is just bursting with promise. Homosexuality and alienation in an oppressive cultist hamlet would have provided more than adequate dramatic fuel for the film. Unfortunately, Cthulhu leaves little to the viewer's imagination. It shoots its thematic load within twenty minutes of the movie at an embarrassingly obvious dinner scene and essentially abandons the homosexuality's link to the narrative at large. Past that, any gay activity just becomes some pornographic bid at luring in a specific demographic. I'm not entirely sure who they were trying to reach with this film (besides, um, me), but this is cheap and blatant pandering.

Do you want to know something depressing? The writer and producer sold his house and everything he owned to make this film. This dumb, amateurish, dead-in-the-water piece of dross singlehandedly ended a man's livelihood. I'm sure it feels liberating in a way to throw caution to the wind and pour yourself into a creative endeavor like that, but with Cthulhu as the result, I'm sure his regrets are immeasurable. I really wanted for this film to succeed and be awesome, but it's borderline unwatchable. Someday a good Lovecraft film will be made.


Drew Smith

Super Reviewer


Confusing with bad acting... Actors are repulsive, absolutely dreadful

Sylvester Kuo
Sylvester Kuo

Super Reviewer


Essentially a loose adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's "The Shadow over Innsmouth" with some homages to John Carpenter's Lovecraftian "In the Mouth of Madness," Dan Gildark's "Cthulhu" suffers from some sub-par acting and budget constraints, but it more than makes up for its flaws by not only bringing Lovecraft's mythos into the postmodern world but also by drawing provocative parallels between small-town homophobia and the absurd, lurking horrors of the old ones. It is truly Lovecraftian in a way that few films have managed to pull off, but it also manages to be an effective drama about dealing with the traumas of the past and coming to understand ourselves in the present. Moody and creepy, Cthulhu is powerful and original independent filmmaking that for some reason also features Tori Spelling....

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