For Reel

Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown (2008)
April 26, 2017, 4:51 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Frank H. Woodward
3 Stars
Lovecraft - Fear of the UnknownIn Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown, a handful of well known genre storytellers are tasked with defending Lovecraft’s work and giving a brief account of his life. At its best, the documentary academically tracks the progression of Lovecraft’s writing from his earlier, Dunsany-inspired pieces to his radically unique later efforts. In considering the man, however, there are some unfortunate gaps. The interviewees are open in discussing Lovecraft’s neuroses, however more of a specific delving into his mental health might have been fruitful (with how prolific of a letter writer he was, the documentary could have explored these accounts more thoroughly). As regards his xenophobia, there are a few interesting arguments that in no way dismiss how deplorable it is, but do suggest that the way that theme develops in his writing is slightly more complicated than one imagines at first glance (that is, the foreigners in Lovecraft’s work are always the most enlightened—while this promotes the fact that their “otherness” is intermingled with evils, it nonetheless affords them a position of power and responsibility). The documentary won’t teach a viewer much more than a casual glance at his Wikipedia entry would, but something must be said for intelligent, creative people espousing on the merits of one of their chosen favorites.

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