There are plenty of projects that (quite recently in fact) renewed my fascination with HP Lovecraft. Indeed, as you can probably tell from the title, Lovecraft’s Untold Stories is one of those projects. But as someone who comes from the cinematic world, I’m also going to focus on the movie/TV portion of the Lovecraftian influence.
That’s not to say that Lovecraft’s influence on other art forms is not great. Far from it in fact. No, here in this post I’m going to focus on the two areas that I love writing about. Video games and movies. Some TV projects might come along the way, but the more the merrier I say. Yup. Let’s begin.
Lovecraft’s Untold Stories And The Never-Ending Cthulhu Mythos
And that’s what I love about HP Lovecraft. His influence can be found pretty much everywhere. Hey, there’s even an entire sub-genre of horror out there, called Lovecraftian horror, and it’s pretty amazing. It emphasizes the cosmic horror of the unknown, a lot more than gore or other elements of shock. Which are easily found in the mainstream horror. The fear and awe we feel when confronted by phenomena beyond our comprehension is truly the key here.
A phenomenon whose scope extends beyond the field of human affairs and boasts of cosmic significance. Furthermore, the hallmark of Lovecraft’s work is cosmicism. Or the sense that ordinary life is a thin shell, compared to a reality that is so alien and abstract in comparison. Moreover, it’s so alien to us that merely contemplating it would damage the sanity of the ordinary person. Awesome right? Yup. It still is.
But I simply can’t go on any further with this post, without mentioning the video game that started it all. Lovecraft’s Untold Stories.
What’s Lovecraft’s Untold Stories All About?
In essence, Lovecraft’s Untold Stories is an action rogue-lite with RPG elements. And in it, you explore randomly generated levels based on H.P. Lovecraft stories. Such as fighting cultists and all kinds of monsters from the Mythos. And with 5 separate characters. A private detective, a witch, a thief, a professor, and even a ghoul. Each with different stats, weapons, and combat moves, creating five entirely different gameplay experiences. Improving your weapons and gear, solving puzzles and challenges are in the game’s essence.
I recommend the game because I really admire the effort the devs put into it and hope there will be more Lovecraft games. Please check it out and decide for yourself if the lack of fun roguelike elements can be overcome by the interesting lore they provided. said Moringa in his Steam comment/review.
I’m still playing this but I just wanted to let people know what I thought and that I am happy with my purchase. It’s got heart. It’s got Lovecraft. -said DekonReighn also on Steam.
While among other things, Game Tyrant mentioned: Lovecraft’s Untold Stories felt like a very fitting action horror game to bring the Lovecraftian game list. Just be ready for a true challenge if you snag this one up.
And much like the title suggests, Lovecraft’s Untold Stories is based on H.P. Lovecraft’s stories. You will experience first-hand the cosmic horror created by the genius of Providence. So what are you waiting for?
Lovecraft’s Untold Stories is currently on sale here at IndieGala, but unfortunately, that sale is ending soon. Hurry up! Oh, and speaking of that Lovecraftian influence, well I have a word or two about that as well. Let’s begin, shall we?.
Exploring The Cthulhu Mythos
Honestly, this topic has been explored countless times before, to the point, it’s a cliché. Hey, even Lovecraft’s legacy as a man is being questioned for some time now. No, I won’t get into the difficult task of defending his image and legacy, mostly because it’s a fruitless battle. History hasn’t been kind to that man, and I’ll just leave it at that. But what you will undeniably find even now, is the influence of his writing. On pretty much everything.
On modern TV and cinema as well, and I’m all about that in this post. First I must mention that I was introduced to the Lovecraftian horror without even knowing, that it was steeped into the Cthulhu Mythos. I vividly remember watching Alien and Re-Animator as a child, and later on, I especially remember being petrified after watching the first Hellraiser movie. Movies that I would find out (later in life) and that have a pretty huge Lovecraftian influence in both themes and visual presentation. But that’s only scratching the surface. The Thing is a pretty blatant love letter to Lovecraft and so are Videodrome, Altered States and Possession from the early ’80s.
However, the influence doesn’t end with the ’90s. Nor did it start back then. If you take a good look at the Cthulhu Mythos you’ll find some of the early adaptations (or inspirations) dating from the early ’60s. Roger Corman’s The Haunted Palace from 1963 is one of the earlier examples. While Die, Monster, Die! Is an early 1965 adaptation of The Colour Out of Space. More on that later.
From In The Mouth Of Madness To Annihilation, Underwater, And Color Out of Space
Lovecraftian’s influences are pretty much everywhere these days. Lovecraft Country premiered in August on HBO, but Doctor Who, Dark Shadows and even South Park did borrow from Lovecraft way before. Yes, the themes and influences on The Mouth Of Madness are pretty obvious, and hey, what a coincidence. I’ve written a whole post about it. Go ahead, check it out here if you’re a fan of the man himself too. You’re welcome. But although some projects are blatantly obvious (such as The Endless, The Mist) some are not so much. Take Alex Garland’s Annihilation for instance. It’s a brilliant movie I highly recommend it.
Oh, and you know what else I recommend from HP Lovecraft? The 2019 adaptation of Color Out of Space. The visuals and the performances are incredible and although it’s not 100% true to the original short story, but it’s a great movie nonetheless. It’s a chance to see Nicholas Cage go all-in in full Nicholas Cage mode, and frankly what else you need these days? All joking aside, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I liked it. Hence, the recommendation.
Color Out of Space Is Weird But Good Movie. Check it out
And What About Those Influences?
Well, several themes are now staples in the Lovecraftian work. They’re what you’d call components of his work and can be found in pretty much every bit of his work. Non-human influences on humanity are the first things that come to mind. Ancient gods, ghoulish monsters, ungodly creatures, and the ever-present sense of impending doom. This is honestly where the cosmic entity (and his most famous character) Cthulhu comes from. Moreover, fate is a frequent topic in his work, and so are religion (or lack there of) and superstition. Not to mention the forbidden, dark, esoterically veiled knowledge and yes. Many of his characters are driven by curiosity or scientific endeavor too.
Anti-anthropocentrism, misanthropy, in general, are easily found in Lovecraft’s writing and frankly the feelings of detachment and hopelessness. And let’s not forget humanity’s fragility and vulnerability. Especially in humanity’s mental state of course. Video games, like films, have a rich history of Lovecraftian elements and adaptations.
Lots Of Lovecraft Inspired Video Games Here At IndieGala
Yes, Lovecraft’s Untold Stories is one such prime example, but over here at IndieGala, we have a lot more to show for. Call Of Cthulhu, Army Of Tentacles, and Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics are some of our finest offerings. Check them out here, and pick the best one of you.
In terms of visual presentation, there’s been a constant association with bleak, dark and rather earthy tones, when it comes to the modern adaptations of his work. But the thing is, bold, vibrant colors are also associated with HP Lovecraft, and yes, there’s no better place to find them than in the Color Out Of Space adaptation I mentioned. But at the same time, keep in mind that Lovecraft didn’t design, paint/draw the art which accompanied his work during his lifetime. I wouldn’t be surprised if he never even saw most of it, so everything we see along with it, it’s another person’s artistic vision. Not Lovecraft’s. So, in the end, I’d love to mention that Lovecraft’s Cosmic horror influences and the entire Cthulhu mythos will likely never end. Lovecraft is still an inspiration to so many and hopefully will continue to be in the future.
Are You A Fan Of Lovecraft’s Untold Stories?
And on HP Lovecraft himself? Which particular project (adaption or otherwise) is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section. We’d love to know all about it.