Cthulhu (2008)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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.
Rating:
R (for language, some sexuality, nudity and violence)
Genre:
Horror
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Cara Buono
as Dannie
Robert Padilla
as Ancestor
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
Charlie Creasy
as Charlie
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
Rob Hamm
as Jake
Nathan Ladd
as Boy Russ
Kellan Larson
as Blind Boy
Barbara Lindsay
as Evelyn Marsh
Emilie Maslow
as Caller
Liza Maslow
as Astrologist
Patrick McKnight
as SUV Passenger
Scott McKnight
as Prison Guard, Will O'Reilly
Jessi Meyer
as Jilly Bronstein
Greg Michaels
as Sheriff
Brandon Mitchell
as Auctioneer's Assistant
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
Joe Shapiro
as Barnes
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 Preacher
David Kirwan
as Bar Patron
Grant Cogswell
as NPR Newscaster
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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 18, 2008
Variety
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

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

Full Review… | April 23, 2009

Audience Reviews for Cthulhu

½

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....

Al Miller
Al Miller

Cthulhu (Dan Gildark, 2007) Cthulhu, Dan Gildark's expressive, delicious supernatural drama, suffers from the same mismarketing that most supernatural dramas do. This is not entirely unexpected, considering the supernatural drama is, these days, almost exclusively a Southeast Asian genre, and when similarly exceptional Asian films find their way over here, they are usually mismarketed as horror as well. (Case in point: Soo-youn Lee's The Uninvited, one of the greatest Korean films ever made, widely panned for ânot being scary enough.â?) I admit, Gildark probably brought some of it on himself by tapping into the Lovecraftian mythos, but really, kiddies, if you pick up anything even remotely Lovecraft-related and expect a Roger Corman (or, worse, a Brian Yuzna) movie, you're going to be disappointed by, well, every good attempt at Lovecraft that's ever been committed to screenâ"and this one is very good indeed. Loosely (very loosely) based on âThe Shadow Over Innsmouthâ?, Cthulhu is the story of Russell Marsh (The Wedding Singer's Jason Cottle), a history professor who returns to the family pile in Oregon to execute his mother's will after her death. While there, Russell reconnects with Mike (My Own Private Idaho's Scott Patrick Green), a lover from his past, and the two of them pick up where they left off after some false starts. But the longer Russell stays in town, the more he becomes convinced that his father (The Cutter's Dennis Kleinsmith), whose âchurchâ? seems more and more like a crazy end-of-the-world cult, is actually capable of bringing about the end of the world. Andrew Kasch at Dread Central says of the film that it âplays out like 'Shadow Over Innsmouth' re-imagined by Kiyoshi Kurosawaâ?, and that's a fine way of putting it indeed. The gay angleâ"which sent such a number of reviewers (and even more IMDB commenters) into such knee-jerk tizzy fitsâ"makes absolute sense; about the only better method of showing âoutsiderâ? on screen would be setting the movie in a Klan-controlled area of the deep south and making your protagonist black, though that would be difficult given the movie's stress on the importance of family ties. And let's face it, this is a movie about relationshipsâ"specifically Russell's relationships with Mike and his fatherâ"so both the film's gay angle and its less-than-charitable attitude towards religion are going to be front and center here. If that bothers you, this is not the movie you want to rent tonight. On the other hand, if you're looking for a movie with a script written by someone who actually seems to understand the ins and outs of human relationships and does a damned fine job at injecting the supernatural into them, this is exactly the film you want to rent tonight. Kasch goes on to call this the closest to an actual H. P. Lovecraft adaptation we've ever had on celluloid (though not so floridly). I'll put it this way: in the literary world, there are two types of writers who are influenced by Lovecraft. The first batch are those who thought, âoh, cool! Monsters!â?, and went on to write Lovecraft-inspired fiction that focused on, yes, the monstersâ"August Derleth, Lin Carter, and that crowd are all well-known to Lovecraft fans. The second, much smaller, group were influenced not so much by the monsters, but by Lovecraft's writing styleâ"the atmosphere, the word choice, the diction, all of which worked together to inspire far more of the dread one feels reading a Lovecraft story than the few glimpses of tentacle. The best examples I can come up with off the top of my head would be Thomas Ligotti, Fred Chappell, and Steve Rasnic Tem. Think of Corman, Yuzna, and that crowd as the Lin Carters of Lovecraftian film. Dan Gildark is very much in the Ligotti/Chappell/Tem camp, and just as those books are more rewarding experiences, so is this excellent film. ****

Robert Beveridge
Robert Beveridge
½

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

Sylvester Kuo
Sylvester Kuo

Super Reviewer

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