Mike’s list of recommended Lovecraftian movies

There are fates worse than death


Below is a list of Lovecraftian-themed movies that I recommend — what I consider to be the best of the best.  Note that I did not say that this is a list of movies based on Lovecraft’s stories.  Some movies on this list are adaptations of Lovecraft’s work, to be sure; but there are plenty that are not.  That’s not important.  What is important is that the movie makes good use of Lovecraftian themes, whether it’s an adaptation or not.

For example, you won’t find The Dunwich Horror on this list, but you will find Dagon (a Lovecraft adaptation) and Absentia (not a Lovecraft adaptation).  Why?  Because tentacles and adaptations don’t make movies Lovecraftian.

What does make a movie Lovecraftian, in my opinion?  Wikipedia writes that “the hallmark of Lovecraft’s work was the sense that ordinary life was a thin shell over a reality which was so alien and abstract in comparison that merely contemplating it would damage the sanity of the ordinary person.”  I agree wholeheartedly with that definition, and I put together this movie list with that in mind.

Also, this is a personal list; it’s movies that I think are very good to great and that use Lovecraftian themes.  If you disagree, fair enough; your comments are welcome.  If you think I’ve forgotten a movie that should be here, please let me know.

I’ll be adding to this list from time to time.  To stay in the loop, sign up for email notifications at the top right side of this page.

Long story short: If you enjoy reading new stories of Lovecraftian horror like the ones found in The Lovecraft eZine, then you will probably enjoy the movies below.  So grab the popcorn and turn down the lights — here’s the list!

ABSENTIA [streaming, DVD] Tricia’s husband has been missing for seven years. Her younger sister Callie comes to live with her as the pressure mounts to finally declare him ‘dead in absentia.’ As Tricia sifts through the wreckage and tries to move on with her life, Callie finds herself drawn to an ominous tunnel near the house. As she begins to link it to other mysterious disappearances, she comes to the realization that his presumed death might be anything but ‘natural.’ Soon it becomes clear that the ghostly force at work in the tunnel might have set its sights on Callie and Tricia too.

ALIEN [streaming, DVD] On their voyage home, the crew of the deepspace tug Nostromo investigate an alien distress signal, inadvertently picking up and bringing aboard an extraterrestrial life form with violent and lethal survival instincts.

AM 1200 [DVD] Haunted by recent events and on the run, a man finds himself the unwitting pawn of a possessed evangelical radio station and like his unfortunate predecessor must ask himself whether it is better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.

ANNIHILIATION [streaming, DVD] A biologist and former soldier (Natalie Portman) must lead a mission into a mysterious quarantine zone known as The Shimmer, a beautiful but deadly world of mutated landscapes and creatures that threatens all life on Earth.

THE BANSHEE CHAPTER [streaming, DVD] On the trail of a missing friend who had been experimenting with mind-altering drugs, a young journalist  – aided by a rogue counter-culture writer — finds herself drawn into the dangerous world of top-secret government chemical research and the mystery of a disturbing radio signal of unknown origin. A fast-paced thriller blending fact and fiction, Banshee Chapter is based on real documents, actual test subject testimony, and uncovered secrets about covert programs run by the CIA.

BLACK MOUNTAIN SIDE [streaming, DVD] Archaeologists find a strange structure that appears to be thousands of years old. The team becomes isolated when their communications fail and their sanity begins to unravel.

THE BURROWERS [streaming, DVD] The Dakota Territories. 1879. A handful of brave pioneers maintain isolated settlements in the badlands beyond civilization. Irish immigrant Fergus Coffey is near to winning the hand of his beloved Maryanne when she is suddenly taken from him, her family brutally abducted in a nighttime attack on their homestead. Suspicion falls immediately on hostile Indians. Experienced Indian fighters Will Parcher and John Clay form a posse and set out to rescue the kidnapped settlers, taking along a naive teenager hoping to prove himself a man, an ex-slave looking for his place, and their ranch hand, Coffey. But as men vanish in the night, and horrific evidence accumulates with the dead and dying, the group discovers that their prey is far more terrifying than anything human, and their prospects are far more terrible than death.

CABIN IN THE WOODS [streaming, DVD] Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods.

THE CALL OF CTHULHU [streaming, DVD] Written in 1926, just before the advent of “talking” pictures, The Call of Cthulhu is one of the most famous and influential tales of H.P. Lovecraft, the father of gothic horror. Now the story is brought richly to life in the style of a classic 1920s silent movie, with a haunting original symphonic score. Using the “Mythoscope” process – a mix of modern and vintage techniques, the HPLHS has worked to create the most authentic and faithful screen adaptation of a Lovecraft story yet attempted. From the cultists of the Louisana bayous to the man-eating non-euclidean geometry of R’lyeh, the HPLHS brings Cthulhu to the screen as it was meant to be seen. Eighteen months of production and a cast of more than 50 actors went into making this film a period spectacle that must seen to be believed. The DVD includes The Call of Cthulhu (47 minutes, black and white), the high-fidelity and “Mythophonic” soundtracks, a 25 minute “making-of” documentary featurette, two slide shows, deleted footage, a prop PDF of the Sydney Bulletin and more.


CLOVERFIELD [streaming, DVD] Told from the vertiginous point-of-view of a camcorder-wielding group of friends, Cloverfield begins like a primetime television soap opera about young Manhattanites coping with changes in their personal lives. Rob is leaving New York to take an executive job at a company in Japan. At his goodbye party in a crowded loft, Rob’s brother Jason hands a camcorder to best friend Hud, who proceeds to tape the proceedings over old footage of Rob’s ex-girlfriend, Beth–images shot during happy times in that now-defunct relationship. Naturally, Beth shows up at the party with a new beau, bumming Rob out completely. Just before one’s eyes glaze over from all this heartbreaking stuff (captured by Hud, who’s something of a doofus, in laughably shaky camerawork), the unexpected happens: New York is suddenly under attack from a Godzilla-like monster stomping through midtown and destroying everything and everybody in sight. Rob and company hit the streets, but rather than run with other evacuees, they head toward the center of the storm so that Rob can rescue an injured Beth. There are casualties along the way, but the journey into fear is fascinating and immediate if emotionally remote–a consequence of seeing these proceedings through the singular, subjective perspective of a camcorder and of a story that intentionally leaves major questions unanswered: Who or what is this monster? Where did it come from?

THE CORRIDOR [streaming, DVD] Five friends spend a weekend in a cabin in the woods to catch up on old times.  Recently, one of them was released from a mental hospital.  Apparently, he and his mother saw and heard some strange things that started driving them crazy.  What happens in the woods that weekend is an example of a creature from another reality revealing itself to people in this one, and how it affects their mental stability.

THE CREATURE BELOW [streaming, DVD] During a dive accident, Olive, a marine-biologist discovers a creature. She brings the creature home, intent on secretly studying it. Things begin to unravel, revealing her bond with it. One which drives her to carry out its sinister will.

CTHULHU [DVD] The H.P. Lovecraft story “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” gets a contemporary reworking in this eerie film following a gay college professor (Jason Cottle) as he arrives at his Oregon hometown to preside over the estate of his deceased mother. Finding both his father and the community at large involved in a strange cult, the young man confronts his ultimate destiny with an icy dread.

DAGON [DVD] Based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft, the undisputed master of macabre.  Paul and his girlfriend Barbara are celebrating the success of their new company on a yacht off the coast of Spain, when a sudden storm smashes their boat on a reef.  Barbara and Paul swim to the nearest town for help.  The decrepit fishing village of Imboca at first seems to be deserted, but unblinking eyes peer out from boarded-up houses. The strange inhabitants offer little help to the stranded couple. By nightfall Barbara is missing and Paul finds himself pursued by the entire town… but a town of what?

DARK CITY [streaming, DVD] Separated from his wife Emma, amnesiac John Murdoch awakens alone in a strange hotel to learn he is wanted for a series of brutal killings.

DIE FARBE [streamingDVD] Arkham, 1975: Jonathan Davis’ father has disappeared. His tracks lead to Germany, to the Swabian-Franconian Forest where he was stationed after the Second World War. Jonathan sets out to find him and bring him home, but deep in the woods he discovers a dark mystery from the past. Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s short novel “The Colour Out of Space”.

DIRT DAUBER [DVD] In this disturbing Lovecraftian fairytale, a man awakes naked and confused in an isolated mountainous region. He soon encounters a strange local who offers to help him. The stranger recounts local folklore that speaks of a murderous religious cult, and an insect-like fertility god that is said to dwell deep within the mountain. The two men go underground in search of the truth and soon find themselves in a stygian black temple of horror…

DREAMS IN THE WITCH HOUSE [streaming, DVD] A graduate student questions his sanity after he rents a room in an old boarding house which was the residence of a 17th Century witch, and he figures out that the evil forces still roam within the walls.

THE ENDLESS [streaming, Blu-ray] Acclaimed filmmakers Moorhead and Benson return with this mind-bending supernatural thriller about two brothers who revisit the UFO death cult they escaped as teens, only to find there may have been truth to the cult’s otherworldly beliefs all along.

EUROPA REPORT [streaming, DVD] A unique blend of documentary, alternative history and science fiction thriller, EUROPA REPORT follows a contemporary mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa to investigate the possible existence of alien life within our solar system. When unmanned probes suggest that a hidden ocean could exist underneath Europa’s icy surface and may contain single-celled life, Europa Ventures, a privately funded space exploration company, sends six of the best astronauts from around the world to confirm the data and explore the revolutionary discoveries that may lie in the Europan ocean.

EVENT HORIZON [streaming, DVD] The year is 2047. Years earlier, the pioneering research vessel Event Horizon vanished without a trace. Now a signal from it has been detected, and the United States Aerospace Command responds. Hurtling toward the signal’s source are a fearless captain (Laurence Fishburne), his elite crew and the lost ship’s designer (Sam Neill). Their mission: find and salvage the state-of-the-art spacecraft. What they find is state-of-the-art interstellar terror.

IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS [streaming, DVD] The mind-bending worlds of author H.P. Lovecraft have long interested horror directors, but the films have rarely successfully captured his nightmarish mix of madness and mythology. John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness is not directly based on Lovecraft’s work, but screenwriter Michael De Luca draws his inspiration from Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythology and then adds his own ingenious twists. John Trent (Sam Neill), an insurance investigator recently fitted for a straightjacket, tells his story to a psychiatrist. Hired to track down the missing pop-horror phenomena Sutter Cane, a Stephen King-like author whose fans are literally made for his books, Trent finds the supposedly fictional Hobb’s End. He watches the town collapse into madness, murder, and monstrous transformations: the fantastic horrors of Cane’s novels played out in front of his eyes. “Reality isn’t what it used to be,” deadpans one zombielike townsperson. In fact, it is how Cane writes it–but is he Devil, dark oracle, or simply a preacher in the service of an evil that grows stronger with every soul his books convert? The script never quite gets a grip on the blurry relationship between fact and fiction, but those details fade in the face of Carpenter’s demented imagery, shiver-inducing twists, and dark wit. It’s more eerie mind game than straight-out horror, a portrait of a world gone mad, and Carpenter relishes every hallucinatory moment.

THE LAST WAVE [streaming, DVD] (Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi once told me that The Last Wave is his favorite Lovecraftian-themed movie.)  Richard Chamberlain stars as Australian lawyer David Burton, who takes on the defense of a group of aborigines accused of killing one of their own. He suspects the victim has been killed for violating a tribal taboo, but the defendants deny any tribal association. Burton, plagued by apocalyptic visions of water, slowly realizes his own involvement with the aborigines…and their prophecies.

THE LAST WINTER [DVD] In the Arctic region of Northern Alaska, an oil company’s advance team struggles to establish a drilling base that will forever alter the pristine land. After one team member is found dead, a disorientation slowly claims the sanity of the others as each of them succumbs to a mysterious fear…

THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN [streaming, DVD] A photographer propelled to explore his dark side begins tracking a subway serial killer whose brutal butchery makes for the most nightmarish images ever captured on camera in director Ryuhei Kitamura’s adaptation of a short story by horror heavyweight Clive Barker. Leon Kaufman (Bradley Cooper) is just another struggling photographer in search of the perfect subject. Encouraged to explore the sinister side of humanity by a prominent art gallery proprietor (Brooke Shields) who is set to display his upcoming debut, Leon goes against the wishes of his girlfriend, Maya (Leslie Bibb), and begins stalking notorious serial killer Mahogany (Vinnie Jones) — whose sadistic murder spree has been making headlines all across the country. As Leon’s fascination with Mahogany gradually grows into obsession, his descent into the killer’s putrid world of murder begins to corrupt his soul while simultaneously dragging his concerned girlfriend down a perverse path of darkness from which there is no return.

THE MIST [streaming, DVD] After a mysterious mist envelopes a small New England town, a group of locals trapped in a supermarket must battle a siege of otherworldly creatures…and the fears that threaten to tear them apart.

THE NEW DAUGHTER [streaming, DVD] Muddy footprints and straw dolls betray the presence of an ancient evil in The New Daughter. Author John James (Kevin Costner) has brought his innocent young son Sam and sullen teenage daughter Louisa  to a new home to start their lives over after James’s wife abandoned them. The house, of course, is huge and in the middle of an overgrown forest–and the discovery of a strange mound nearby doesn’t make things any less spooky. Louisa’s adolescent hormones practically beg for supernatural possession, and before long she’s covered in mud, breaking out in a prickly rash, and pushing girls down the stairway at school. There’s nothing unexpected in The New Daughter, but that doesn’t mean it’s ineffective; Spanish director Luis Berdejo makes good use of ambient sound, well-timed jolts, and Baquero’s porcelain-doll features. Costner seems a little out of his element, but when he’s faced with some horrible choices, he captures the torment of a father who fears he can’t save his children. As is often the case, the more we see, the less scary it is, so it’s good that Berdejo holds back on the creepy-crawlies for as long as he can. Horror fans will find much to enjoy in The New Daughter.

PHANTOMS [streaming, DVD] Five lone survivors in a devastated town must face the unthinkable: a ferocious force of evil lying below the earth for centuries has surfaced with the power to destroy every human being! You’re in for a pulse-pounding experience as the survivors race to stop this terrifying threat before it wipes humankind off the face of the earth!

PICKMAN’S MUSE [DVD] A stellar adaption of “The Haunter of the Dark”.  An artist, Robert Pickman, becomes obsessed by visions of unworldly horror, revealed to him through an ancient artifact discovered in an abandoned church.

PONTYPOOL [streaming, DVD] In the small town of Pontypool, Ontario, former shock jock turned radio announcer Grant Mazzy drives through a blizzard on his way to work. When poor visibility forces him to stop his car, an underdressed woman appears on the road, startling him. Grant calls out to her, but she disappears into the storm, ominously repeating his words and visibly disturbing him. Grant eventually arrives at the radio station, where he works with technical assistant Laurel-Ann Drummond and station manager Sydney Briar.  As the morning proceeds, they get a report from their weather and traffic helicopter reporter Ken Loney about a possible riot at the office of Doctor Mendez in Pontypool. He describes a scene of chaos and carnage that results in numerous deaths, immediately grabbing Grant’s attention. After Ken is unexpectedly cut off, the group tries to confirm his report, but their witnesses are disconnected before they can get them on the airwaves. Ken calls back and reports that he has found the “infected” son of a well-known Pontypool citizen nearby, mumbling to himself…

POSSESSION [DVDA spiral staircase movie, a never-ending metaphysical game of cat-and-mouse, a moral aspiration to the Heavens, a “spotlight” on God, a scornful detective movie, a horror movie and frightful, high-octane baroque work – Possession is all of that at once. It is a film that provokes, but it provokes intelligence above all – not just the merry continuation of our little social mechanisms.

PRINCE OF DARKNESS [streaming, DVD] A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.

PROMETHEUS [streaming, DVD] A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.

SPIDER LABYRINTH [DVD] Handsome Professor Alan Whitmore is assigned by his university to go to Budapest to seek out Professor Roth who has been investigating an ancient religion. Once there, he is met by Professor Roths’ beautiful assistant, Genevieve Weiss. But Professor Whitmore soon finds himself at the center of mysterious cult involving secrets, murder, and a monstrous mind controlling spider god . Will the professor solve this weird puzzle, or will he too be caught in the web of the Spider Labyrinth?

SPRING [streaming, DVD, Blu-ray] After the death of his mother and a fight in a bar that could lead to jail time, Evan leaves California for Italy, where he falls for Louise (Nadia Hilker), a young woman who he soon discovers is harboring a dark, primordial secret. This genre-bending horror romance from filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead blends stunning locations, bold performances, and a unique visual style.


THE RESURRECTED [DVD] Charles Dexter Ward’s wife enlists the help of a private detective to find out what her husband is up to in a remote cabin owned by his family for centuries. The husband is a chemical engineer, and the smells from his experiments (and the delivery of what appear to be human remains at all hours) are beginning to arouse the attention of neighbors and local law enforcement officials. When the detective and wife find a diary of the husband’s ancestor from 1771, and reports of gruesome murders in the area begin to surface, they begin to suspect that some very unnatural experiments are being conducted in the old house.

THE RITUAL [streaming] A group of college friends reunite for a trip to the forest, but encounter a menacing presence in the woods that’s stalking them.

THE SHRINE [DVD] A blood-curdling tale of sacrificial cults, demonic possession and ancient evil. After a young American backpacker vanishes in Europe, three journalists trace his disappearance to a mysterious Polish village. They travel there hoping to get the story, but instead find a grotesque, fog-shrouded shrine and hostile locals hell-bent on serving up for their next ritualistic human sacrifice.



THE THING [streaming, DVD] Researchers in the remote Antarctic dig up the remains of a spacecraft that has long been frozen in the ice. But the alien life unthaws and infects the living (not only humans but sled dogs too), living and gestating inside them.  This Thing is chilling in every sense of the word, with plenty of terrifying, adrenaline-pumping moments that build it to a powerful and shockingly nihilistic conclusion. It’s a harsh and uncompromising movie (hewing more closely to the original 1930s story “Who Goes There?”)–so much so that it probably never would have been given a green-light by any studio in the more cautious and doggedly upbeat 1990s.

THE THING ON THE DOORSTEP [streaming, DVDA psychological horror film based on the story by H.P. Lovecraft. Daniel Upton’s relationship with his friend Edward Derby is abruptly changed after Edward becomes romantically involved with an enigmatic hypnotist. As Edward’s behavior becomes more erratic and events unexplainable, Daniel investigates. Is it madness…or something far more terrifying?

THE VOID [streaming] A blood-soaked man limping down a deserted road is rushed by officer Carter to a nearby hospital with a skeleton crew. Trapped inside by hooded figures, Carter discovers that the patients and staff are transforming into something inhuman.

THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS [DVD] Written in 1931, H.P. Lovecraft’s iconic genre-bending tale of suspense and alien terrors is brought to life in the style of the classic horror films of the 1930s like Frankenstein, Dracula and King Kong. Using its MythoscopeTM process – a mix of vintage and modern techniques – the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society expands on Lovecraft’s original tale while still bringing you unparalleled authenticity. Horror and science fiction collide in the adventure of Albert Wilmarth, a folklore professor at Miskatonic University, as he investigates legends of strange creatures rumored to dwell in the most remote mountains of Vermont. Wilmarth’s investigation leads him to a discovery of horrors quite beyond anything he ever imagined, and ends in a desperate attempt to escape the remote New England hills with his life and sanity intact. The studio that brought you The Call of Cthulhu now presents one of Lovecraft’s weirdest tales as a feature-length talkie starring Matt Foyer as the intrepid folklorist, Albert Wilmarth. Celebrated television and stage star Barry Lynch plays Henry Akeley, supported by an ensemble of outstanding actors. Shot on location in New England and in Hollywood, The Whisperer in Darkness brings Lovecraft’s intense imagination to vivid life in the style of the 1930s.

YELLOWBRICKROAD [streaming, DVD] In the Fall of 1940, the entire population of Friar, NH abandoned their homes and walked up an ancient trail, never to be seen alive again. Their fates have remained a mystery for over 70 years, until a team of researchers discover the trailhead and attempt to track the path the doomedcitizens of Friar took. Yellowbrickroad is a return to the slow burn, character driven horror thrillers of the 1970s.

Keep checking back because I’ll be adding to this list as needed.  (Stay informed: You can subscribe via email at the top right side of this page, follow me on Twitter, and LIKE this ezine on Facebook.)  I hope you enjoy the movies.  And hey, after you watch them, please comment below.

Mike Davis
Editor, Lovecraft eZine 

269 responses to “Mike’s list of recommended Lovecraftian movies

  1. Some interesting stuff I’d never heard of (‘Die Farbe’) and some stuff I just wouldn’t include on a list of my own (‘Cabin In The Woods’, ‘Cloverfield’, ‘The Shrine’).
    Always fun to see what other people think is ‘Lovecraftian’ though.

      • SOOO many movies reference ‘old gods’ the phrase is fairly ambiguous and certainly not exclusive to the lovecraft mythos. In fact, Cabin in the Woods is actually part of the buffy the vampire slayer mythos. Not to mention the tone of the movie is far too tongue in cheek to be considered lovecraftian. But everyone is entitled to their opinion 😉

      • HI, just checking this out and couldnt help but notice this small thread. The Cabin in The Woods is in fact Lovecraftian Horror. The genre is not defined by the characters that arise at any given time in the story, but of fear that cannot be contested with. The entire story the protagonists struggle with an outside force that they have no control over, no amount of fighting would allow them to win, one way or another, they would end up losing the fight.

        Lovecraft is not a single story, nor a set of characters, nor a hint at the kosm being involved, it is rather the impending failure of the struggles of humanity against something that cannot be fought, a battle that cannot be won. By definition, the film certainly does fall under this category.

    • Grave Encounters (both parts) are quite Lovecraftian. It’s a “found footage” series about a reality show crew trying to investigate haunted places. In their 6th episode, they discover that the hospital they are investigating has a mind of its own.

    • I wasn’t so much saying I thought Cabin In The Woods wasn’t ‘Lovecraftian’ as I was just saying it wouldn’t be on my list of ‘best’ Lovecraftian movies. I’d take it over that MoH version of Dreams In The Witch House though… didn’t care for that much at all.
      Anyway, I just now watched a movie called ‘Observance’ which was pretty decent… creepy but restrained… no overt Lovecraft references but still a candidate for this (generally excellent) list.

    • you need to watch the whole cloverfield trilogie to get the lovecraft feeling. It’s not much but you will get the point if you pay attention.

  2. Fourth kind I felt had a sanity blasting tone. I didn’t really think Cloverfield was very Lovecraftian, to me it seems more like a pov Godzilla/ alien invasion flick. I really enjoyed The New Daughter, and thought it brought some nice ties to Lovecraft’s The Mound, and The Lurking Fear.

    I’m really excited for Prometheus and John Dies At The End. Has anyone heard how The Darkest Hour is?

      • please, never compare Godzilla to crap like Cloverfield. Godzilla is in a genre all his own. Cloverfield was an attempt at making a bad giant monster movie into a “Blair Witch Project” reality-ism. the only thing it did well was annoy us with all the damn shaky footage.

      • Cloverfield is derivative, but I enjoyed it. For what it wanted to be it succeeded quite well.

      • The writeups of Cloverfield distinctly mention the fact that the US doesn’t have a signature Godzilla creature movie and that this was our attempt to create one. They didn’t try to hide it and where the Japanese created Godzilla from Earthborn creatures, Cloverfield came from space. Cabin in the Woods mention the Great Old Ones, but in the end it is a human hand that appears. Maybe there was a licensing issue that made this an obtuse reference, but I would have liked it better if it was something different.

    • I really like John Dies at the End! I think it definitely fits in well with a list of Lovecraftian films, and comes across like a Lovecraft story told by a compulsive liar and sociopath with attention deficit disorder, with wonderful results. I suggest watching John Dies at the End with I Sell the Dead (a wonderful pulp-horror anthology horror/black-comedy film containing a number of short tales loosely inspired by the likes of Herbert West: Re-Animator or The Hound, linked by the involvement of a pair of hapless grave-robbers working for clients who would probably fit right into the backstory from The Case of Charles Dexter Ward; I Sell the Dead is by the same director as John Dies at the End shares a similar tone).

      Or, pair John Dies at the End with the previously-recommended In the Mouth of Madness (which travels much the same sort of post-modern mind-screw territory as John Dies at the End, with somewhat bleaker tone).

      John Dies at the End should also go well with the original Phantasm, which is also by the same director as John Dies at the End, fits really well with Lovecraft’s nightmare-inspired imagery and cosmic horror themes, and, I feel, should fit in quite naturally with Mike’s original list of film suggestions. A vaguely inhuman, ghoulish grave-robber from another dimension who raises the dead as twisted dwarf zombies for use as slave labor on a sort of Plateau of Leng, and blurs the lines between dream and reality for the living who accidentally stumble into his plot? Phantasm definitely delivers on Lovecraftian tone, atmosphere, and themes!

  3. An excellent list, with the possible exception of In The Mouth Of Madness. Man, do I hate that movie. But that could just be me. 🙂 Still, very comprehensive.

      • yeah, all about “In the Mouth Of Madness.” Easily the most lovecraftian, and just a damn good movie. Severely underrated.

    • Totally Agree!
      There are so many things I hate about it: the totally predictable “creepy” things, the clichees (scary children, ppl see things then they suddenly dissappear, etc.), the annoying women and so on.
      For me that movie neither had anything to offer as a movie itself, nor did it satisfy the lovecraft fan in me. I always found lovecrafts horror is slowly build up, its silent.
      That wasnt the case in that movie. The only part I liked, was from the beginning up to the moment they start driving, after that everything just becomes predictable/annoying/clichee. The movie never invoke any feelings of horror or thrill in me (just like Dagon).

      my favourite movies on this list are the b/w call of cthulhu, prometheus+alien, die farbe
      although i havent even watched half of them, will look into some of them 🙂

  4. I can’t resist mentioning a couple of Guillermo del Toro’s (my favorite movie-making Lovecraftian fanboy’s) efforts: both of his Hellboy movies are full of Lovecraftian elements and creatures. Will

    • Yeah, but the tone of them was more like something out of Alan Moore’s LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN than HPL, in my opinion.

      • Hey you guys. Actually Hell Boy was Mike Mignola, who in his acknowledgments in all his books makes it more than a point to thank Lovecraft for his inspirations. Infact Hellboy was dreamed out of Lovecraft, I would say. A must read of comic books. It’s full of Lovecraftian elements. Also ‘BPRD – Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense’, but Hellboy is the original. Anyway this was an interesting page and find. I have not seen a few movies here myself and I will check em out. Cheers

    • I agree that the Hellboy movies should be included. Hellboy’s movie origin shows him being conjured from some nameless dimension inhabited by tentacled monsters enveloped in strange geometric shapes floating through some dark region of space or strange dimension. Later in the movie one of the tentacled monsters makes its way into our world and wreaks havoc.

  5. The making of ‘Cloverfield’ was shrouded in so much secrecy that at one point the rumour mill suggested Abrams was filming ‘The Call of Cthulhu’. I just finished watching a film called ‘Colour from the Dark’, based on ‘The Colour out of Space’. It takes place in 1943 Italy and has a lot of the elements from Lovecraft’s story. It’s not bad.

  6. That’s what you call an exhaustive list! Thanks, Mike, for your invaluable insights into these disparate titles. My personal fav is “Cloverfield,” which succeeds on its merits even though the subject matter is somewhat hackneyed by today’s standards.

    • I have not seen PRINCE OF DARKNESS, but I am a John Carpenter fan, so thanks for reminding me. From the descriptions, I thought it was more Satanic than Lovecraftian, but I guess I’ll know for sure when I watch it. 🙂

  7. Lovely list, Mike. And everyone should go see The Whisperer In Darkness, because it’s the best movie ever.

    I also think that people who enjoyed these should try Marebito, a Japanese movie by Takashi Shimizu. It’s really hard to follow, as it tries to balance between is the main guy crazy or is this stuff really happening, and doesn’t do it very well, but, in a way, that does make it work better.

    And Die Farbe was lovely. I always knew the color of pure evil was pink.

    And everyone should see The Whisperer In Darkness. Seriously. Best… Movie… Ever.

  8. THE BURROWERS will be one of a must watch. I ponied up for a Roku player (I love it) and I can stream the movie (or buy) from Amazon Instant video. The rent price is $1.99. Thanks Mike great list. I have seen Alien, Cloverfield, The Thing and Into the Mouth of Madness. I enjoyed the Mouth even though it was certainly different than the story.

  9. Thanks Mike. Lots of great scary movies in the list with a few that I have not seen and will make an effort to see. One that I might suggest for the list that is one of my favorites and I think fills the bill is “Event Horizon.” They open up a gate to another realm of evil and insanity. True cosmic horror.

    • It’s been about 15 years since I’ve seen EVENT HORIZON, but from what I remember it might fit into this list. Thanks for the reminder — I will watch it again soon!

  10. Dagon, and Stuart Gordon in general, just rubs me the wrong way. Nothing against fan service but a naked, terrified woman in pain? No, just . . . no. Ugh.

  11. Ahh yes Event Horizon, which stars In the Mouth of Madness actor, Sam Neill. A great one to add I think. Anoth one would be Sphere, which shares some resemblances to The Temple.

  12. great list, though I’ve heard nothing good of ‘Cthulhu’ with the gay professor. & I didn’t like ‘Dagon’ much. You didn’t list ‘Beyond’ or ‘Cast a Deadly Spell’ with Fred Ward as the detective Lovecraft – though it’s not available on DVD. For me, it’s one of the best & tongue-in-cheek Lovecraftian films ever 🙂

    • Cast a Deadly Spell is brilliant. Well written, well cast (Julian Moore, Clancy Brown, Fred Ward and David Warner). It’s one of those films you can watch again and a again because it is so damned entertaining. Almost all of the special effects are practical and it works to the film’s advantage. There is a certain tongue-in-cheek-ness to it, yes, but it is a pretty good mash-up of the hard-boiled, Raymond Chandler PI noir film and Lovecraft. This is one of my favorite movies.

      Did I mention it has Julianne Moore, Clancy Brown, Fred Ward and David Warner? That cast alone is worth tracking it down.

      • I agree completely. Cast a Deadly Spell is an incredible film. It has an amazing cast and the perfect mix of Chandleresque noir and Lovecraft mythos and clever tongue-in-cheek humor. I love it that his landlord is a New Orleans Voodoo priestess. I love it that an underworld boss has a huge black zombie for a henchman, and I love it that he’s the only one on the magical mean streets of L.A. who won’t use magic! Living gargoyles, rich virgins hunting unicorns, Gremlins, the Necronomicon, and a dame that’s as dangerous as a loaded 38. What’s not to love! I have the VHS tape, but I hope they put it out on dvd or BluRay soon.

  13. You really didn’t make it clear, but Stuart Gordon’s Dagon is really more The Shadow Over Innsmouth, not Lovecraft’s Dagon. The town in Spain is Imboca, boca is mouth in Spanish, get it?

    • yes, there other things that point at Innsmouth´s story aswell. the cult, the old drunkard, the fishpeople, etc.

  14. I wanted to dislike “The Last Lovecraft:Relic of Cthulhu” when I watched it on Netflix awhile back but I found myself laughing at it. It is supposed to be a campy comedy so it succeeded at that. It even had my wife laughing at parts of it and she’s not well versed in Lovecraftian lore.

    Still, a lot of the jokes will fall flat unless you are a Lovecraft fan:


  15. I’m not recommending all of the following Lovecraftian titles, but I at least want to mention them in addition to those already discussed for the sake of inspiring more wide-spread interest in Lovecraftian films:

    The Evil Dead (1981)

    Evil Dead II (1987)

    Army of Darkness (1992)

    House of Black Wings (2010)
    After a tragic act of violence cuts short her music career, Kate Stone is returning to a city full of ex-fans and ex-friends. Taking shelter with her last friend, a struggling artist named Robyn Huck, the two women work to restore the aging courtyard apartment building Robyn has inherited. But a terrible secret infests the venerable structure, and soon Kate will be haunted by horrific dreams, sinister apparitions, and the sounds of something moving in the walls. She will be dragged into a confrontation not only with her own dark past, but the unspeakable nightmare that lurks beyond the walls!

    Re-Animator (1985)

    Kammaren (2007)
    Tore Forsman is an old man, most people would call strange or even mad. He lives in an old house on the country side. All his life he has kept something locked and sealed under his house. When he suddenly dies a relative, Adam, makes a trip to late Tores cabin. Adam has two friends with him, Björn and Jens. The spirit of Tore is somewhere to be found and that’s a good thing, ’cause something is still waiting.

    Kuro No Dansho (1999)
    aka Mystery of The Necronomicon: Book of the Dead
    Plagued by a string of gruesome occult murders, the inhabitants of an isolated resort turn to one another for comfort. But each hides a shameful past and forbidden desires. Now, a private detective must overturn every secret to fight the evil that stalks them all!

    Yôjû Toshi (1987)
    aka Supernatural Beast City (1987)
    aka Wicked City (1987)
    This is one sexy and bloody H.P. Lovecraft-esquire piece of animation from Japan not to be missed and definitely not for the kids.

    From Beyond (1986)

    L’isola degli Uomini Pesce (1979)
    aka Island of the Fishmen (1979)
    aka Screamers (1979)
    Loosely based on H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth; an hysterical mix of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Island of Dr Moreau, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, H.P. Lovecraft, science fiction, Atlanian myths, and an episode of the TV show Lost.

    The Unnamable (1988)

    H.P. Lovecraft’s The Unnamable II: The Statement Of Randolph Carter (1993)
    aka The Unnamable Returns (1993)

    Pulse Pounders (1988)
    This horrror anthology includes an adaptation of Lovecraft’s The Evil Clergyman, featuring Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton.

    The Haunted Palace (1963)
    Can you say, “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward?”

    The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (2003)

    The Dunwich Horror (1970)

    The Dunwich Horror (2009)
    aka H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror

    Beyond the Dunwich Horror (2008)

    Dark Paradox (2007)
    The film follows a writer’s unwitting discovery of the history and secret efforts of a cult in Victoria, Canada that has been engaged in a 60 year effort to open a portal between our world and another, letting in a host of vicious inter-dimensional beings. The city of Victoria was rumored in the 1980’s to be the second worldwide ‘capital of Satanism’ after Geneva, Switzerland. Dark Paradox explores the idea that this myth was not only partially true but also partially inaccurate in suggesting the cult activity was ‘Satanic’ when in fact it was based on the worship of ancient extraterrestrial ‘elder gods’ in the vein of HP Lovecraft’s fiction.

    Paura Nella Città dei Morti Viventi (1980)
    aka City of the Living Dead (1980)
    Basically a zombie film which is set in the town of Dunwich, and has a strong Lovecraftian flavour.

    Quella Villa Accanto al Cimitero (1981)
    aka The House by the Cemetery (1981)
    Combines the ideas of H.P. Lovecraft and August Derleth, with Henry James and Ambrose Bierce.

    Bride of Re-Animator (1990)

    Beyond Re-Animator (2003)

    Stuart Gordon’s Castle Freak (1995)
    Tense dark atmosphere, and a strong Outsider influence.

    Witch Hunt (1994)
    Dennis Hopper as Detective H. Phillip Lovecraft in a comedy version of Lovecraft’s mythos.

    Die, Monster, Die! (1965)
    A loose adaptation of Lovecraft’s, The Colour Out Of Space.

    Necronomicon: Book of Dead (1993)
    H. P. Lovecraft is looking, in the late thirties, after the ‘Necronomicon’. He finds it guarded by monks in an old library, and then copies some stories from it; which unfold for our eyes and his…

    The Subject (2006)
    A Re-Animator type film, about a woman who is reanimated after dying a horrible death; and is now Hell bent on revenge. Amelia Foxton plays the sexy yet evil “Subject” being created by “Dr. Raimi” and “Dr. Campbell.” The film is a violent and corny Lovecraft style film.

    The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu (2009)

    Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968)
    The story is apparently loosely based on H.P. Lovecraft’s “Dreams in the Witch House”.

    Equinox (1970)
    It’s vaguely Lovecraft-inspired, about four young people who go looking for an old professor (Fritz Leiber, Jr.) they know who’s living in a cabin in the woods while he studies “eldritch knowledge”. He’s missing and his scary book (the Necronomicon?) is missing too.

    Dark Heritage (1989)
    Another uncredited adaptation of Lovecraft’s “Lurking Fear.”

    Il Mistero di Lovecraft – Road to L. (2005)
    1997: A student of folklore named Andrea Roberti hypothesizes the possible link between the horror literature of H.P. Lovecraft and the dark folk tales of the Po Delta, a mysterious and remote part of northern Italy. 2002: One of the directors of the film comes across a manuscript in Montecatini (Italy) which may have belonged to the American writer. This journal, dated 1926, describes travels in Italy through the Po Delta in search of inspiration in the form of local folk stories: the Filò Tales. 2004: A
    small, tough crew of international filmmakers is put together with the help of David, a New York actor, to make a documentary on the finding of the journal and on the links between Lovecraft and the Po Delta. The crew sets up its base in the town of Loreo – referred to simply as L. in the manuscript – as the author of the journal did. During their investigations the atmosphere of animosity and foreboding rises and they soon discover that strange and disturbing things have been happening in the area. Events that the locals are eager to keep secret.

    Lurking Fear (1994)

    The Curse (1987)
    Another adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft’s story, “The Colour out of Space.”

    La Casa Sfuggita (2003)
    aka The Shunned House (2003)
    Based on H P Lovecraft’s tale, “The Shunned House,” presents the stories of three people who all died within the confines of the dark and isolated chateau. Each story is taken from a different period in time, yet they combine with one another to reveal the house’s dark past to a journalist specialising in the paranormal and his sceptic girlfriend.

    Closet Space (2008)
    Contains Lovecraftian Mythos elements.

    Bleeders (1997)
    An uncredited low-budget adaptation of the Lurking Fear.

    Chill (2007)
    A low-budget version of Lovecraft’s, “Cool Air.”

    Beyond the Wall of Sleep (2006)
    A very poorly made film, with a very funny commentary track.

    In Search of Lovecraft (2008)
    While shooting a Halloween news story on horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, reporter Rebecca Marsh discovers that the “fiction” Lovecraft wrote is actually true and the creatures and cults described in his writings really exist. For die-hard low-budget ‘B’ movie fans only.

    Hunters of the Dark (2011)
    Inspired by the works of H. P. Lovecraft. A dark Lovecraftian thriller in which a series of events building up to an invasion of the Earth by beings from another astral plane, and Earth’s reaction to it.

    I would have included The Shuttered Room (1967) on my list, but that was really based on the writings of August Derleth in one of his “posthumous collaborations” with Lovecraft.

    And Mike, I do believe that certain types of creatures and tentacles can indicate a Lovecraftian atmosphere or influence…


    • That’s a very comprehensive list of additions to the original list! Thank you, a lot of films there I haven’t heard of, and quite a few I’d like to check out.

      I adored Equinox – it’s a bad, BAD film, with hideously amateur acting, Manos-the-Hands-of-Fate quality sound, and absolutely precious claymation special effects, but as long as you can check your braincells in at the door before it starts, Equinox is so bad, it crosses the line twice and should be a lot of fun for anyone who doesn’t try to take it too seriously. And, when Equinox actually works as a Lovecraftian film, it actually does capture some of the laws-of-the-Universe-we-thought-we-knew-no-longer-apply spirit of Lovecraft’s fiction effectively enough. Pair Equinox as the B-film for The Evil Dead in a double-feature, shoestring-budget, loosely-Lovecraftian film night, and I think Equinox will go over well in that context.

      I rather enjoyed The Dunwich Horror (1970) – it’s not a particularly faithful adaptation, at least in terms of mood and atmosphere (which seem to be the most important ingredients in a good “Lovecraftian” film) – this film is largely a product of the 1960’s drugs-and-hippies culture, and in fact it comes across as a bit goofy from time to time – but I’m fond of it anyway. Pair it with one of the weak-but-mostly-harmless 1980’s Lovecraft adaptations (say The Unnameable or The Shuttered Room), and The Dunwich Horror will probably come out looking pretty good in that context.

      The Haunted Palace – “Can you Say ‘Case of Charles Dexter Ward’?” Apparently, Roger Corman couldn’t, so he stole the title of a quite unrelated Edgar Allen Poe poem to cash in on the popularity of Corman’s previous Poe films. But, if you enjoy Corman’s Poe adaptations and those lurid 1960’s Hammer horror films (and I do), The Haunted Palace should be fun as well. Furthermore, The Haunted Palace stars Vincent Price, who clearly enjoyed being part of films like this and always adds instant ghoulish and contagious fun to any horror film he’s in! Watch this one with alongside any 1960’s AIP/Roger Corman Poe or Hawthorne adaptation starring Vincent Price, and I think you can’t go far wrong.

      Die Monster, Die! is a slow-moving Colour Out of Space adaptation, and might stretch the limits of modern viewers’ patience in a couple places, but it is a fairly faithful adaptation of the Lovecraft story, I want to take the creepy monsters from the mutant menagerie home because they are just so awesome, and this film stars Boris Karloff, who always adds a touch of dignity to anything he’s been a part of, which helps make up a bit for the things that Die Monster, Die! doesn’t do as well as it should have. This might go well with, say, The Quatermass Xperiment or Quatermass II on a slow night: watch Die Monster, Die! first, and a Quatermass film afterward; don’t expect edge-of-your-seat action from any of these films, but I think they all do have the right spirit and atmosphere, at least.

      I liked Cast a Deadly Spell – it wasn’t particularly Lovecraftian in tone or mood, but it was fun anyway, and a neat alternative take on the pulp context of Lovecraft’s work and some of its content. I can’t really recommend its sequel, Witch Hunt, though… I feel like something happened to the folks involved between the two films that left them rather angry and bitter about something, and that mood whiplash on top of the fact that the sequel just isn’t as good as the original just didn’t make for an enjoyable viewing experience for me. Cast A Deadly Spell might work well being shown along with the silent “Call of Cthulhu” and one or two other experimental Lovecraftian short films, as a glimpse at what can be done when film-makers think outside the box when making a film inspired by Lovecraft.

  16. I always thought the original The Wicker Man, from the 1970s, had a very Lovecraftian feel. It’s not about extra-terrestrials but the depiction of the cult like pagans whose intentions are only slowly revealed was quite absorbing.

    Also The Blair Witch Project is worth considering for this list, with the same eerie feel. It actually reminded me of Sticks in some ways.

    • Glad someone else noticed the similarity between “Sticks” (one of my favorite mythos stories) and Blair Witch. I think “Sticks” could be the basis for a disturbing film.

  17. There is also Out of Mind: The Stories of HP Lovecraft. It is a fairly short Canadian film that kind of mashes together “The Statement of Randolf Carter” and “Hebert West: The Reanimator”. A young record store clerk is introduced to Lovecraft and slowly starts to go mad as he experiences visions relating to the stories he is reading. There are too many clues, however, that the visions are real and terrible things are being unleashed into our world. HPL himself makes and appearance (and the actor they cast looks remarkably like Lovecraft) and there is a wonderful scene where the clerk and HPL meet and the clerk is wearing a tee-shirt with Lovecraft’s face on it.

    Low budget, but the effects are very well done and some of the scenes are quite disturbing.

    It’s hard to find, but well worth seeking out.

    • The actor from this film, Christopher Heyerdahl, will be best known to American viewers of the AMC western series “Hell on Wheels”, where he plays a character known as “The Swede”. And yes, remarkably like HPL, especially the jawline.

    • I’ll second Phantoms – it wasn’t a very strong film, but it wasn’t an awful film, and definitely had eerie moments; as a mediocre film with some promise it’s probably one of those that could really use a re-make. In any case, it’s an OK film, and I think Phantoms would pair nicely with The Mist for a kind of “double-bill” somewhat-Lovecraftian movie night.

      • It had very strong Lovecraftian elements none the less and the black ooze antagonist at times reminded me of Formless Spawn of Tsthoggua.

        Peter O’ Toole’s Professor line of dialogue –

        “Chaos…Chaos in The Flesh!”

        Would not be out of place in HP Lovecraft’s stories

        There’s a giant moth beast at one point that kinda resembles a Mi-Go and theres a grand body tentacle scene with Liev Shrieber towards the end.


        “Aflleck was the bomb in Phantoms….” (snoogens)

        I recommend the movies…..

        “Altitude” about a 20 somethings unbeknownst-to-him’s power when he falls asleep/day dreams – to bleed our reality into a gigantic, tentacled, extradimensional airbourne entity’s reality – while flying at 15000 feet in a chartered aeroplane.

        “Dead Shadows” – a french film about a comet passing by the earth and causing people to go crazy and eventually to mutate into things straight out of HPL and John Carpenter’s playbook/

    • Dead on with Uzumaki… even moreso the original comic, which the movie is just the first chapter of. Really wild, weird, creepy stuff.

  18. GREAT list! I’ve seen most of these, will be watching the ones I haven’t, and am having a great time with other people’s suggestions as well. Thanks so much!!!

  19. I feel compelled to include “The Last Winter”, which, although not based on an HPL story, was obviously influenced by one of Lovecraft’s influences, Algernon Blackwood. When you find reviews of this atmospheric, slowly-building film, it always gets qualified as “ecological horror” because it deals with a warming arctic and melting permafrost, but what makes it truly Lovecraftian is what that permafrost is releasing, and it isn’t as pleasant as methane or ancient peat.

  20. Guys, you should really check “Il mistero di Lovecraft – road to L”, an italian mockumentary about an hypothetical secret trip to Italy that Lovecraft supposedly made in 1926. It’s sort of a reimagening of “The horror over Innsmouth” and I think it has the right vibe. The only problem is that it’s 60% in english, while the rest is italian, and being an indie project I don’t know if there’s an english subbed version…

    • It seems there was a Spanish release of the film that included English subtitles but I don’t think it contains the original Italian language soundtrack. I found a copy from the U.K. but it’s kind of expensiv

  21. all pretty good films , my personal favorites being the thing and in the mouth of madness ! had high hopes for the mist , and then they had to screw up a perfectly good ending ! everyone talks about how bleak an ending the film had . yeah , for one guy and those he kills . the original was much bleaker , because the entire world was affected , and you were left wondering if and how long they survived and whether or not they found any other survivors ! much better in book form than the film !

    • Well youre entitled to your opinion but Stephen King himself said the movie’s ending was better than his own.
      And common consensus is The Mist has one of the best downbeat endings in modern horror films which sits truly in Lovecraftian bleak endings.

      Not to say Lovecraft didnt have any upbeat endings – The Dunwich Horror is a great tale of Good triumphing over Evil…but its a rare example of such.

  22. It’s actually Hodgsonian instead of Lovecraftian, but I recommend the surprisingly effective (and unsurprisingly awesome) MATANGO to Lovecraftian film fans.

  23. Very good list. Several movies I have not heard of, so I think I now have a project for the next few weekends.

    I love Absentia, it is one of my new favorite movies.

    Someone mentioned Closet Space, and I will recommend that movie as well. Very strong Lovecraftian themes.

  24. Awesome list Mike!! I love it when you do this 🙂 I thought I might add some of my own. You can find all of them on Youtube, which is great, because I think some of these entries would be difficult, if not impossible to find elsewhere. For the most part, these aren’t actual adaptations, but entries that are akin to or influenced by Lovecraft’s themes.

    While not exactly a movie and not exactly an adaptation of anything specifically Lovecraft, BBC’s teleplay of Quatermass and the Pit still stands as one of the best broadcasts ever for the BBC and is incredibly influenced by Lovecraft, whether intentionally or not (penned by Nigel Kneale).
    Youtube link- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i7JxVWxXuw

    While I highly recommend watching the BBC teleplay, more people might know Quatermass and the Pit from the movie adaptation by Hammer Films, called 5 Million Years to Earth. Youtube link – http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAE3DAD1E9710A6A3

    The Stone Tape, also penned by Kneale. You have to watch to the end, but yeah, totally Lovecraft 🙂 Youtube link- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Tf0P2Iaw5M

    Lifeforce. Definitely follows the themes of Lovecraft’s misplaced spiritual terror. If only they would have picked a better leading man than Steve Railsback, it might have actually have stood a chance of being more popular then what it was. It’s a good movie, none the less. Youtube link- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuLFACRZASk

    The Horror Express, another Hammer film, definitely has a Lovecraft influence. And it’s got Telly freakin’ Savalas as a Cossak! 🙂 Youtube link- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KApLCGBRX8M

    Knowing, starring Nicholas Cage. This one might seem strange to include, but at it’s heart, it follows one of Lovecraft’s key themes of an actual, hidden reality disguised or confused as spirituality, resulting in terror once the truth is revealed. Youtube link- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOb0ZBGKKHQ

    • Another one I forgot to add, and unfortunately I can’t find the full version on Youtube, but The Mothman Prophecies is another underrated movie that has as it’s central themes feelings of alienation and obfuscated truth. Truths that aren’t easy to find without delving deep into the central mystery of the story and even then, remain elusive and unknown, where only the surface has been scratched despite how far you go. It truly is a very good and atmospheric movie. And while not a literal adaptation of Keel’s signature book, it does reflect that book’s story very well. Youtube link to trailer- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP4P7VPx2zM

  25. Great list. I watched Absentia thanks to your recommendation, and was very impressed.

    Peter Weir’s The Last Wave, while not based on anything by Lovecraft, combines themes of dreaming and cosmicism/apocalypse in ways that bear some resemblance to The Call of Cthulhu. Excellent film.

  26. This is a great list and a great site in general, thanks! Hard pressed to add to your list. The Ninth Gate is a great movie. I think it qualifies as borderline Lovecraftian.

    • I haven’t seen Baby Blood, but I rather enjoyed both Dead Birds and Marebito. Dead Birds reminded me more than a bit of Event Horizon, but set in a remote farmhouse in a bleak post-Civil War America – like Event Horizon, it wasn’t perfect, but it had its moments. Marebito (Japanese, English subtitles) picked up a lot from Richard Sharpe Shaver, who in a way took over for Lovecraft for a short time in the 1940’s and 1950’s in combining science fiction and horror in the form of conspiracies of subterranean aliens influencing the surface world through nightmares. Both Dead Birds and Marebito often do a wonderful job of suggesting a nice, eerie Weird Fiction atmosphere.

  27. I recently found a copy of AM 1200 at a booth at San Diego Comic-Con. That was one excellent movie! My first reaction was that I wanted it to be longer, but on second thought I don’t think it would have worked as well. You think you’ve hit the plot’s climax but then the second shoe drops directly after and just as quickly leaves you with a sense of a larger, cosmic horror. So glad I heard about it on the eZine!

  28. This is kinda obvious and I apologize if you guys are way over these, but seriously, how can we not include The Fog and (even more so) Dead & Buried? I mean seriously. If they aren’t Lovecraftian – water, fishing villages, freaky sh*t (like Dagon), then I’m 50 fathoms out of my league…

      • he might have meant the mist. The lovecraftian element being the universe next door being a place of inhuman horrors.

      • Carpenter apparently explicitly mentions “The Fog” is a result of wanting to film something in the spirit of Lovecraft’s fiction, though the influence might not be obvious at first. “The Fog” is more or less the film of “The Doom that Came to Sarnath”, one of Lovecraft’s lesser-known stories, substituting a leper colony for Lovecraft’s fish-people (probably benefiting a lot from that decision), and moved from a Dunsanian dreamland setting to essentially 1970’s “Arkham, California” (I must suspect that John Carpenter envisioned filming in New England, but worked with what he had available instead).

  29. Fantastic list Mike – you’ve added a good few to my watch list. There’s one you certainly missed that’d be pretty high up on mine, which is the fantastic ‘Uzumaki’ or ‘Spiral’ by Higuchinsky, based on the manga by Junji Ito. It’s increadibly Lovecraftian and a great film too.

  30. Great LIst and nice comments. I will add many of these to my “look for” list. I’d like to add “Die Monster Die!” with Boris Karloff. It’s one of Karloff’s last movies – a remake of “The Color Out of Space.” It was hard to find for a while, but now it’s on a double DVD with “Dunwich Horror.”

  31. Cabin in the Woods is the most Lovecraftian of those that I have seen. I had such a pleasant surprise when I first watched it, thinking it was going to be a normal hacker thriller….

  32. Definitely some good ones on this list, lots of important ones left out already mentioned in the comments. But also some that are good movies but so far from being lovecraft it makes me wonder

  33. Hi, I just read your list, and I haven’t read the last year’s worth of comments, but what about Hellraiser? Barker has an extremely cosmic element to most of his stuff, and his obsessions are much the same as HPL’s, but Hellraiser is one which seems even more deliberately influenced by Lovecraft. Also, this one isn’t a film, but if you’ve never read it, Imajica is a Clive Barker novel that is extremely Lovecraftian in all kinds of ways.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly about The Cabin in the Woods, and In the Mouth of Madness, but I thought Cloverfield was a bit of a stretch. Thanks very much for the other recommendations, most of which I’d never heard of.

    • I’d go with “Hellraiser” as being “Lovecraftian” way before “Cloverfield”, “Europa Report”, or “Monsters”, actually.

      For that matter, Clive Barker’s “Hellraiser”, “Nightbreed”, and “Lord of Illusions” are kind of like cosmic horror filtered through Clive Barker’s unique imagination (you can read that as “peppered with a lot of weird, vaguely homoerotic bondage/s&m imagery”).

      Sure, there are generally no tentacles in Barker’s movies, but really there’s not a huge leap at all between Lovecraft’s depiction of the ghouls in “Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath”, and Barker’s secret city of monsters in “Nightbreed”. And, “Hellraiser” isn’t too far off from the sort of nightmares one could get from a night of reading “Dreams in the Witch-House” and “The Thing on the Doorstep”.

      Your mileage may vary, but I’d even go with Clive Barker’s “The Plague” (sort of a “Village of the Damned”-meets-zombie-film kind of film) as feeling a bit more cosmic than “Cloverfield”, “Monsters”, or “Europa Report” to me (compare “The Plague” loosely to H.P.L.’s alien thought-transferrence themes in “Beyond the Wall of Sleep” or “The Shadow Out of Time”).

      Not that I didn’t like “Europa Report”, “Monsters”, or “Cloverfield” – I just thought that two of these had far more in common with H.G. Wells’ and/or Jules Verne’s science fiction than anything else, and the other was a definitely a Kaiju film and no more or less Lovecraftian than Godzilla.

  34. I enjoyed the movie Uzumaki, a Japanese horror film by Higuchinsky, released in 2000. It is based on Junji Ito’s manga. Both are very atmospheric. The reveals are very terrifying.

  35. I’ve never seen Pulse Pounders. I kinda forgot about it actually. I used to love those Full Moon flix. I’m an admitted Puppet Master fan.

  36. Just watched Europa Report. While not overtly Lovecraftian, there are subtle threads present throughout including isolation, insanity, and . And, while avoiding spoilers, I’ll say there’s a strong assertion that the ocean at the center of the Jupiter moon could be the origin (or at least nursery) for the creatures we associate with the Old Ones.

    I also suggest Monsters, an underrated sleeper with extremely Lovecratian creatures in both design and origin.

  37. Really liked the list, thanks so much for sharing these ideas. I have to agree with the previous poster ‘Europa Report’ is really great and with a strong cosmic horror feel. ‘Monsters’ was good too, it felt like a follow up to ‘Cloverfield’ in a few ways, but better executed (sorry JJ). I would also like to second Phantoms, it’s old and kind of cheesy I know (the cast is good though), but I read the book by Koontz (which definitely harks back to HPL) and the film was a fairly good adaptation.

  38. I just recommended the Lovecraft eZine, and this film list in particular over on Reddit Lovecraft; and I wanted to mention here that my admiration continues to grow for what I see here. Will

  39. I know it’s been mentioned here before, but I’d like to recommend adding Yellow Brick Road. I watched it recently and has a wonderfully creepy vibe, reminiscent of work like The Whisperer in Darkness, The Lurking Fear, or Blackwood’s “The Willows”.

  40. Some other considerations:

    Wake Wood – What would you do to bring back someone you lost?
    Grabbers – Very Cthulhu mythos like monsters
    The Rig – Very Cthulhu mythos like monsters
    Pulse (either Japanese or the US Remake are good)

  41. I’ll second the recommendation for “Grabbers.” It’s got a nice take on Shub-Niggurath (and her many– TOO many– young).

  42. One that was just on TV that I have to admit has always struck me as being innately Lovecraftian, and one I doubt anybody is going to agree with me about (but what the hell, here goes): 1956’s Forbidden Planet.
    The entire lost civilization of the Krell, from their massive trapezoidal forms that we are only allowed to guess at, to the sheer cyclopean scale of their planet-spanning structures, to their mysterious, ancient demise; the Id monster, which although powered by Jungian ideas of the subconscious, is a malevolent, formless energy being, and tends to kill in the manner of Wilbur Whateley’s invisible twin brother; the inhospitable nature of Altair IV itself, and it’s extreme remoteness. Where it all departs from the strictly Lovecraftian is in the starship crew – HPL never indulged in comic relief characters – and the strong-jawed, somewhat belligerent hero played by Leslie Nielsen. Ditto for the innocent daughter played by Anne Francis, or one of the great iconic screen robots Robby, but change out Walter Pidgeon’s Dr. Morbius as a future mad scientist and put him in a starched collar and he could easily be a corrupted Miskatonic academic who has discovered too much.
    I know this film, adapted from The Tempest, could more likely be referred to as Shakespearean than Lovecraftian, but it does have something of a C.L. Moore, C.A. Smith feel through key points of the plot. Possibly a different list could be established for ‘Weird Tales-ian’ movies…

    • I love ‘The Forbidden Planet’ – one of the classics of sci-fi film! There’s not much there that’s overtly Lovecraftian, but somehow I suspect that of all the movies suggested on this page and in the comments, the Forbidden Planet is one of the few Lovecraft himself might have appreciated; I’m pretty sure the romantic subplot would have failed to appeal to him much and would have taken the film down a few notches in his book, I’m pretty sure he would have appreciated the same sorts of things you would have mentioned: the massive alien lost city, the sheer outlandish scale of it all, the weird geometries, the chimerical god-like alien race that rose up to heights of achievement only to fall overnight and end up lost to the aeons, buried in tomb-cities until the stars are right and human archaeologists awaken and raise their ghosts through human meddling… Oh, the poor Krell! “The Forbidden Planet” handles it all with a wonderful, sober dignity and awe that I think would have appealed to Lovecraft, and I suspect probably comes closer to Lovecraft’s own vision of the cities in “At The Mountains of Madness” or “The Shadow Out of Time” than anything else ever filmed.

      You might also like the similar, but somewhat trashier, “Planet of the Vampires” – I’ve always said that “Alien” was an uncredited re-make of “Planet of the Vampires”, and in some ways this earlier film is a bit more overtly Lovecraftian in spirit than “Alien”. Of course, “Alien” gets major weird points for H.R. Giger’s bizarre and unsettling imagery over the raygun-gothic imagery of “Planet of the Vampires” (in fact, “…Vampires” looks a bit like “Forbidden Planet” crossed with a Hammer gothic horror film by way of a decidedly Italian art-horror aesthetic), but “…Vampires” has corpses re-animated by possession of psychic alien ghosts left over from a fallen ancient alien civilization.

  43. I watched a few of these on your recommendation, and I was NOT impressed with the Shrine, or Yellowbrick Road. The latter at least had a unique concept, but a distinct inability to pull off the ambiguous ending. Pontypoole was better, but the ending falls apart completely. I Am always on the lookout for good horror/sci-fi, so thanks for the suggestions and keep up the good work!

  44. Just a few films you guys should check out… Bloodwork 2012, Devils pass 2013, Cell Count 2012, Blood Creek 2009, Wither 2012, Dead Shadows 2012, Crouch End from Nightmares and Dreamscapes. My current favorite is Mariano Baino Dark Water 1993. Enjoy! I know I did.

  45. I’m going to stick in a couple of belated oars here– first, a recommendation for They (2002), which is more overtly monstery than something I’d usually try to include in the Lovecraftian ring of a Venn diagram, but it has some things to recommend it; the monsters are very ill-defined, their motivations are very obscure, there’s some chance that they’re no more than a figment of the protagonist’s imagination and if they are that may actually be worse than if they’re real.

    Second, a recommendation against the previously suggested Beyond the Wall of Sleep (2006), which surpasses even the horrid adaptation of The Lurking Fear (1994) for miscarried attempts at doing Lovecraft in a film. I watched ten minutes of it, and when no amount of bearing down could help I started again with the commentary in hopes they’d explain themselves; the directors, producers and writers (three or four guys, all in multiple hats) just made fun of the actors, and I couldn’t get past eight minutes of that.

    • Quite a gem of a B-movie, the film “Cradle of Fear” has strong Lovecraftian hints and even features Dani Filth from Cradle of Filth as a main character. It’s a pretty cool anthology, similar to the Necronomicon film starring Jeffrey Combs. Some of the stories are pretty strong. Others, well, meh. But the special effects are top notch for the overall film budget.

  46. One film you might want to look into is Darkness (2002) While for some reason rated fairly negatively and at first glance seems like a standard haunted house flick but once you dig into it there are themes of madness and The Darkness in question is “the state of chaos and formless void that existed before Creation and which constantly threatened existence thereafter. This primal darkness was embodied in the Ogdoad and in the great serpent Apophis” Anyway fantastic list, I have found a ton of great film through it!

    • I know people from Spain who rate Darkness with 10.
      It’s a previous movie from the director of the amazing [REC], Jaume Balagueró (I felt like kneeling in the cinema when I saw the ending; those last minutes were the best experience of my life in a cinema).

    • I will second “Darkness” as well – it’s not a perfect movie, but I didn’t quite understand the low ratings it tends to get, either. It’s definitely not based on any particular Lovecraft story, and has no overt references to the usual Cthulhu Mythos, but I can see some similarities to “The Rats in the Walls” and “Dreams in the Witch House”.

      Someone mentioned Clive Barker’s “They” earlier, and I’ll second that as well, and add “The New Daughter” and “The Dark (2005)”. Along with “Absentia”, these four movies are essentially different takes on dark faerie mythology, and bear a lot of similarities to the vision portrayed by Arthur Machen (another of the authors that inspired Lovecraft), and in most cases they come closer to being Lovecraftian films than some adaptations of “The Lurking Fear” and “Shadow Over Innsmouth” I’ve seen.

      “Night of the Demon (1957)” (AKA “Curse of the Demon”), based on an M.R. James story and made by some of the same people who made the original “Cat People (1942)”, is, I think, likely to be of interest of fans of Lovecraftian films as well: it’s about a skeptical researcher who gets on the bad side of a cultist, and gets cursed, becoming a believer by the end of the film as his time before being killed by the curse runs out. The effects of the curse might all be due to the power of suggestion and the film mostly goes for a nice, tense, “maybe magic, maybe mundane” approach right up until the end, when an absolutely adorable monster was inserted due to executive meddling, but I’ve never held the monster or the ending against this otherwise creepy and stylish film.

  47. Thank you for this list. It gives me lots of good ideas as to what to watch next.

    I’ve always considered “Quartermass and the Pit” (“Five Million Years to Earth” in the US) to be vaguely Lovecraftian.

  48. I enjoyed In Search of Lovecraft, From Beyond, the first Re-Animator, Frankenstein’s Army, Evil Dead 1 and 2, The Maze, Lunopolis, Atrocious, Grave Encounters, Apollo 18, V/H/S, V/H/S 2, Devil’s Pass, The Bay, 1408.

  49. Mike you and I share a love of many of the same films. The Resurrected is my second favorite horror film of all-time. It is directed by Dan O’ Bannon who was one of the original writers on the movie Alien, also on your list. It has been said that before O’ Bannon died, he had been working on restoring footage to The Resurrected and was trying to release a special edition of the film on dvd. John Carpenter is my favorite director, and my favorite film of his was In the Mouth of Madness. It has been an inspiration for my own stories. Also, Prince of Darkness and The Thing are incredible films that I was pleased to see on your list. Event Horizon was an amazing film and one of the two best films I have seen mixing horror and sci-fi. I was also very pleased to see my third favorite horror film, Dagon. It was directed by Stuart Gordon, who I believe has shown the greatest talent for bringing Lovecraft’s work to the screen. He has made many lovecraft films but this was his largest budget and he was able to film in a coastal village in Spain allowing for a great deal of realism. He made a short film for the TV series Masters of Horror. It was Lovecraft’s Dreams in the Witch House. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it. Three movies that were not on your list that I recommend you to check out are The Unnamable, Evil Dead, and The City of the Living Dead. Note: The Unnamable was of course a low budget film, but what has always staggered me every time I see this film is that near the end, when we get to see the creature, the makeup for the “Unnamable” was incredible. Not only that, but the person in the makeup gave an incredible physical performance that totally sold this creature to the audience. I watched it recently and the creature holds up even today with any large budget film could produce. What a payoff!

  50. Great list; probably the best I’ve seen. Glad to see Absentia, Yellow Brick Road, and Cthulhu on here. Cthulhu doesn’t get enough credit. Great atmosphere.

  51. Check out Ravenous, starring Guy Pierce and Robert Carlyle. Otherwise I think you nailed my other top picks.

  52. Great suggestions! I spent the last 3 days watching the films I hadn’t seen. Wonderful stuff! I just watched Blood Glacier 2013 last night. I highly suggest it. It has a real “The Thing” feel to it and plenty of creatures.

  53. Great llist. One new addition you might like is BORDERLANDS (2013) a British found footage fim directed by Elliot Goldner. A team of paranormal investigators look into claims of supernatural activity in a remote church and it soon becomes apparent that some kind of ancient evil has been awakened. It’s very Lovecraftian, especially in its final scenes.

  54. I am not sure if anyone has mentioned “Here Comes the Devil,” a Mexican horror film which has several Lovecraftian elements (I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who has not seen it). But I enjoyed the film and was surprised by the ending, which is the most Lovecraftian part of the film. Here’s the Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_Comes_the_Devil

  55. How’s about the British scare flick The Borderlands?
    Two men representing the Catholic church travel to a sleepy village to investigate a report of a miracle in a local church.
    Contains elements from Shadow over Innsmouth (surly locals, ancient cults) and The Statement of Randolph Carter (modern technology used to document a rapid decent into madness).
    Uses the found footage style which I’m not generally too keen on but I found this to be a rare exception.
    I’d be interested to hear people’s views on this movie as it doesn’t seem to be too well known.

  56. Excellent list. Was happy to see ‘Yellowbrickroad’ on this list. If you haven’t done so, check out ‘AntiChrist’ (streaming, DVD) which is an interesting trip, in both senses of the word. Each year (this year will mark the 3rd) I do a 30 Days of Horror marathon – I watch 1 horror movie a night during the month of October, culminating in a horror fest on my birthday October 31. Some of these I’ve seen, but the rest will make for a fine Lovecraftian block. Cheers!

  57. I would recommend THE STUFF. Isolated town with underground mystery. Said mystery exported in a lampoon of consumer culture and dessert craze. The tagline is great: “Are you eating it…or is it eating you?” Body horror, addiction/possession, military involvement.
    Also, second PHANTOMS. Loved the book, too.

  58. Cast a Deadly Spell wad a good one. More light hearted but neat. Check it out. Hell tge detective in the movie is named Lovecraft.

  59. That is a great list and has given me more than a few to try to hunt down now.

    I’m absolutely delighted that you mentioned ‘Europa Report’, one of my favourite movies of the year. Also, I have lost lost count of the amount of times I’ve seen ‘The Ninth Gate’.

    Dare I recommend a strange, haunting and beautiful one that you may not agree with…’Photographing Fairys’?

  60. The Ninth Gate
    One main character, old books, evil powers, madness,…

    The Mothman Prophecies
    One main character in search of the truth, a strange being, dangerous knowledge,…

    Alien VS Predator
    A trip to Antarctic, ancient underground pyramid with strange symbols, Predators considered gods from space,…
    Up until the killing the starts, it’s quite Lovecraftian.
    At The Mountains Of Madness comes to mind.

  61. just watched The Last Winter, currently available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDG7hlYFJsY

    Nice film. Some similarities to Carpenter’s The Thing unavoidable. I think the Wendigo was mentioned, but not sure. To me, there were traces of Fritz Leiber’s ‘The Black Gondolier’. For some reason, (perhaps because of inebriation), at moments the BBC original series, ‘The Quatermass Experiment,’ came to mind.

    There seems to be a subgenre of government-corporate-capitalist horror, although it would be as vast as the Arctic wastelands.

  62. Gonna recommend Sauna on here. A Finnish movie about a grim village in the Middle Ages and the Finnish agents who come to mark on the map where it ends and Russia begins. Has a cosmic touch with themes of insanity, meaninglessness, and darkness with an eldritch monster worthy of the Old Man From Providence himself.

  63. Check out Mr. Jones, directed by Karl Muellern on Netflix. With creepy stick figures in the woods, mysterious presences, an urban legend of the art world, and heavy emphasis on the dream world, it really felt like something that would fit nicely into the Lovecraft circle.

  64. How about a “lost” Lovecraftian film?

    Thirty-seven years ago (Gawd, where has the time gone!) in 1977, in the 7th issue of my Lovecraftian fanzine, “Eldritch Leanings,” I included my thoughts on, and a quote from the June-1977 issue of Starlog, about an upcoming movie entitled, “Cry of Cthulhu.”

    See https://www.flickr.com/photos/cthulhuwho1/4864937990/in/set-72157624536174231/lightbox/ for the actual page from “Eldritch Leanings.”

    IMDB.com has nothing on this film, or any of the people that were supposed to be working on it; so maybe someone reading this Recommended list here can shed some light on what became of this project; which I didn’t have any hope for in 1977, and have been proven right in the years since then.

    Will Hart
    aka CthulhuWho1

  65. Hi, Mike, how about making a list of the WORST Lovecraftian films? I nominate ARKHAM SANITARIUM: SOULEATER (I think that’s the correct title), which came out a couple of months ago. It starts out as paranormal investigation and shortly turns into a very gonzo perverted mess that’s supposed to be funny but is just sick and offensive, and should be seen by no one ever.

  66. I would add Lord of Tears. At times predictable and not so scary, Lovecraft fans will however much enjoy the ancient culture inspired god and even the well places passages from Lovecraft’s prose.

    • Ah, and also forgot Marebito, this one is actually quite good, it leaves you wondering what is real and what is not, the main character really descents to madness and there is even a blink to the mountains of madness

  67. Haven’t seen any mention of Ghostbusters. After reading a lot of Lovecraft, this movie happened to be on TV. Noticed a lot of Lovecraft themes lurking under the main plot of this movie.

    • Lovecraft is VERY prevalent in the entirety of Ghostbusters. It shows up very strongly in the first film about a cosmic deity that finds a way to breach our world. The second film wasn’t as strong but mildly hinted at Charles Dexter Ward’s plot devices. The video game brings back the strong story and forces the characters to face cross-dimensional enemies. The TV series, both the original and Extreme Ghostbusters had Lovecraftian plot elements in numerous episodes.

  68. I just watched Yellow Brick Road on DVD. I found it to be a beautiful, frightening, and intense film. Seems to be one of those stories about a place where another world/dimension intersects or overlaps with ‘our’ world, like William Hodgson’s ‘House on the Borderlands,’ Blackwood’s ‘The Willows,’ Ramsey Campbell’s short story ‘Voice of the Beach,’ and others I can’t think of right now. (Absentia another example, and also a great movie.) Yellowbrickroad has a definite apocalyptic vibe to it, with its seeming inversion of the message from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (if I remember correctly): now, ‘home’ is where ‘the grass has turned black, the sky is full of smoke’. I’m still wondering what it was, what ‘wizard,’ lured the town folk, and the contemporary expedition, onto their journey into insanity and murder. One of the characters says, if you’ve lived in that town long enough, you’ll understand. I’ll have to watch this again, with the director’s commentary. (The first pilgrimage happened in 1940 — the Yellow Brick Road out of the Great Depression led to fascism and war? My thoughts wander.)

    Cosmic awe is a ‘Lovecraftian’ theme, but this movie actually made me reflect on daily life and the current conditions and prospects for the human species. Which does get back to the cosmic. Seems Laird Barron-ish in some way.

    I second the above endorsements of the Japanese film, Marebito.

    Liked the soundtrack to Europa Report.

  69. @njjones I respect your opinion, but I didn’t find Under the Skin to be Lovecraftian at all. She is a genetically engineered android whose function is to get food for the group. She is considered a commodity by her handlers and aside from her programmed seduction tactics has no emotions of her own. The fact that this movie is sci-fi does not necessarily denote cosmic ramifications. She did a good job acting, though. Of course, I am not an expert in anything and may have missed something.

    • I don’t think the movie really specified what she was, other than she came from some place else. I just found it very lovecraftian in the aspect that it conveyed a sense of cosmic dread, that I didn’t know where she came from, all I knew was that I didn’t wanna go there myself! haha

  70. You should add Okaruto (2009) to the list. It’s a Japanese found-footage film with lots of supernatural events and a great Lovecraftian overtone that sticks to the film like a poisonous fog. Although I think the ending is a bit weak :/

  71. First of all…Great list. There are a few I have not enjoyed but I plan on it. A recent movie that would certainly make the list is “Digging up the marrow.”

  72. Absentia is a good choice…

    My selections are from Asia who of course have a slightly different angle on Lovecraft

    Occult: The Unidentified

  73. Skeleton Key and The Beyond should be on the list, the former a movie from within the last 10 years, it’s a “hoodoo” movie, but has Lovecraftian lineage, the latter is an older Italian horror movie. Both “end well”, if you know what I mean.

  74. I’d second the recommendations of The Borderlands. Strips away the typical religious ghost story stuff as it goes on and works towards an exceptionally Lovecraftian ending.

  75. Don’t know if anyone else mentioned it but another Lovecraft like oddity is Sphere. A mysterious giant sphere that chooses what it reflects is discovered in a spaceship at the bottom of the ocean. Then after stuff goes crazy, can or should the scientists escape?

  76. “Possession” by Zulawski is a perfect lovecraftian movie with the stunning beauty of isabelle adjani

  77. I know that no list will ever be perfect and that tastes differ but there are lovecraftian hallmarks missing – and those are:
    1) Evil Dead 1 (Original)
    2) Evil Dead 2
    3) From Beyond
    4) H. P. Lovecraft’s Necronomicon

    Just my two cents…does someone disagree?

  78. I have a bit of an unusual suggestion. I recently watched “Videodrome”, a 1983 Cronenberg flick about…well…about how visual media taking over humanity. But in a very, very weird way. A way associated with mind control, mutations, hallucinations, body horror, the evolution of mankind and unknown and unseen forces that are dangerous to play with. The main plot is the descent into madness of a producer of violent and erotic TV programmes and the compulsion with which he takes each step is akin to some Lovecraftian characters.
    Long live the New Flesh!

      • Well, I laid out my reasons. You would agree with me, if someone stated that the Videodrome is a Great Old One, right? And it might (as) well be. Apart from all that the story being centred on one guy’s descent into madness/understanding of a transformative secret about reality that ultimately separates him from humanity…that’s very Lovecraftian to me. I also think that it’s a film that Lovecraft fans would enjoy. But as I said, it’s an unusual choice.

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  80. Thank you for this excellent list. It is very smart of you to quote Possession, and accurate. One of the very best lovecraftian movies I ever seen are Dark Waters by Mariano Baino (1993), along with Carpenter’s Madness and Fulci’s zombi movies. Don’t you think the first Silent Hill is lovecraftian ?

    • Silent Hill is indeed a candidate, it certainly has the vibe to it… In the end you (‘I’ rather) still don’t really get what has been going on and if the event(s) are still continuing.

  81. Two not mentioned yet:
    Lemora: A Child’s Tale Of The Supernatural (1973) has some Lovecraft vibes.
    The Gate (1987) has some old gods, etc, aspects.

  82. amongst other movies that have been added in the comments (evil dead 1-3+series), i´d also like to add “shadow of the unnamable” its a low budget movie from germany that gets good critics everywhere its shown.
    I sadly dont know where to get it, not even on the official site is any info (it released years ago, but no dvd or download in sight)

  83. still waiting to see full-length movies with actual lovecraft aliens specificaly the polyps, yithians, shoggoths and elder things ect, and also the atmosphere and scenery (weird alien cities, otherworldly voids ect)

    yep, cannot think of anything with all that stuff, highly dissapointing.

  84. Wow, four years and the discussion is still going!
    Glad to see Devil’s Pass and The Borderlands (aka Final Prayer) were mentioned as they’re two of my favorites. I’d also add “The Taking of Deborah Logan”. It seems like your standard demon possession flick, but end using several elements that Lovecraft readers will recognize. From ancient tribal ‘Gods’ to mental transferance.

  85. Looking for a movie title. Only have vague memories, but it was a Western and involved some kind of strange malevolent creatures and also had an Indian legend tie-in if I remember correctly.

  86. Though the original story wasn’t quite as Lovecraftian, the script that Clive Barker wrote for Lord of Illusions was one of his best. A cult surrounding a sorcerer named Nix is disbanded by one of his former followers, Swann. Nix is defeated and imprisoned and his most devoted follower, Butterfield, goes into hiding for 13 years, seeking the means to bring his master back. Swann’s wife hires a private detective to protect them from Nix’s cult. Swann has become a successful illusionist but is killed during one of his tricks and D’Amour must protect Dorothea from the returning cult.

  87. I like to add my own 2 cents here and advice people to check out the horror show ‘Midnight Gallery’. It was the sister show of the ‘Twilight Zone’ but focused on short horror (occasionally scifi/psychological drama) stories. Some are regular horror, tongue in cheek or even pretty lame humor, but others are absolutely Lovecraftian in nature 🙂

    ‘The Dead Man’ is the most obvious example of Lovecraftian horror I can recount, but ‘The Boy Who Predicted Earthquakes’, ‘The Cemetery’, ‘The Escaperoute’, ‘Whisper’ and many more would qualify.

    Make sure you watch ‘Professor Peabody’s Last Lecture’. It’s a Lovecraft parody with a terrific speech.

    And though they are not movies, I can advice certain episodes of the Doctor Who audio adventures of Big Finish. Some were clearly based on Lovecraftian mythos, like for instance the fantastically made ‘Lurkers at Sunlight’s Edge’. In fact, in my opinion, this one audio adventure beats most movies on the above mentioned list. But I guess that’s a matter of taste.

  88. Dead Shadows [2012]
    I’m surprised that this one isn’t on the list. It gradually grows into the most Lovecraftian atmosphere I’ve encountered since Dagon.

    Phantasm [1979] (and its 4 sequels)
    Mentioned once in the comments above. Should be mentioned again. It’s gory but Lovecraftian.

    As above as below [2014]
    Belongs to the horror sub-genre of underground exploration, like Decent and Pyramid. But it also crosses with Dan Brown and Lovecraft. It certainly has invisible eldritch evil which tries to get you, mysterious ruins/structures/statue, a cult full of weirdos etc. I like this movie a lot.

    The last witch hunter [2015]
    Might be considered pseudo-Lovecraftian. There’s an ancient evil and the mention of dark evil thingies that try to slip into our world. But like most Vin Diesel movies it’s Vin Diesel who gets the focus; not the cosmic dread itself.

  89. I remember a movie from when I was younger, late 80’s early 90’s where teenagers go to a castle I think or old house and in the basement I think there was a portal and when they went through it became monsters I remember a biker monster? Anyways I swear it was a lovecraft based movie and I’d love to to know what movie it was. Any help?

    • That might be “Cthulhu Mansion”, AKA “Black Magic Mansion” (1990).

      “An aging magician harboring a terrible occult secret and his daughter are taken hostage in their isolated mansion by teenage scumbags needing a place to hide out. When the captors refuse to listen to the magician’s dire warning to release him unharmed, the mansion slowly releases its nightmare of horrors on the unsuspecting invaders.”

      There seems to be a portal in the basement, and some leather-jacket-clad teenaged hooligans (including Demi Moore in one of her first roles)… I don’t know if any motorcycles are involved, but it sounds likely. I’ve never seen this film, but it has a reputation for being related to Lovecraft only by having the name “Cthulhu” appear as the title of a “Necronomicon”-like tome somewhere. I wouldn’t let that deter you from tracking it down again, though, as still it sounds like a load of goofy 1980s-era fun! (One of these days, I intend to check it out myself.)

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  91. Where’s my, At The Mountains of Madness movie?!?
    I guess The Thing is as close as I’m gonna get.

  92. Honeymoon from 2014 has a strong resemblance to shadow over innsmouth imo. Definitely worth the watch.

  93. With ‘the burrowers’, i didn’t get it why it classified as a lovecraftian cuz it seemed like the classic Western/monster hybrid of which they have thousands out in the movie market. The last 10 minutes tho…

  94. I guess a lot of people just immediately scrolled down the list and then headed straight to the comments without reading the introductory text. Tsk tsk. That’s the internet, though, I guess.

    Great list! Found a couple new-to-me flicks that I’ll have to check out now.

  95. The desperation for my next Lovecraftian fix has driven me to scouring youtube. Yes that’s right youtube.

    Plenty to find and almost all of it is just ‘ok’. But I like to draw attention to the productions of Bluworm, especially “In the Court of the Yellow King”;

    There are also some excellent combinations between audio readings and animated visuals, but to prevent this list from becoming a youtube party I’ll stick to this one suggestion.

  96. No one seems to have mentioned the 2002 french film “Maléfique”, directed by Eric Valette … not a story adaption, but VERY Lovecraftish.

  97. I don’t know if anyone is interested in introducing their children or younger siblings/family members/friends to Lovecraftian lore, but I’ve come across Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom and think it’s great for the little ones.

  98. I know this site has been up for a while, but I just discovered it recent. Excellent listing of films and comments. I might add a few not mentioned (unless I missed them)…The Brood (1978)- One of David Cronenberg’s first movies starring Oliver Reed and Samantha Egger, I feel this film truly captures Lovecraftian elements of horrid offspring and fleeting sanity.

    Deep Rising (1988?) _Treat Williams stars in this film about ship hijackers who attempt to rob a luxury cruise ship in the area of the Marianas Trench. When they find no one aboard, they search around and find something truly terrifying in the hold. More of an action adventure, it certainly has a Lovecraftian ending. Worth a watch…

    Solaris (2008?)- One of the few George Clooney movies I like, this extremely strange and haunting sci-fi tale takes you to the edge of sanity. With ethereal music, beautiful lighting and an offbeat pace, it is one-part love story and one part nihilistic vision of a bleak reality.

  99. I believe The Cabin in the Woods is a satire of the horror genre or a sub-genre of horror, and that the Lovecraftian reference to the Old Gods was incidental. Nevertheless, it was a good movie.

  100. Hi Mike, great list.
    I’m Australian and I’m going to track down a copy of Peter Weir’s The Last Wave, it looks great!
    If you have the chance, check out a movie from 1973 titled “Messiah of Evil”. It’s set in a creepy coastal town of Point Dune, California and (to me) is an amazing film about Nyarlathotep and his cult.

  101. I would also like to add The Waldemar Legacy series with Paul Naschy, An amazing Lovecraftian 2-parter from Spain.
    Aleister Crowley and HPL are characters.
    They are wonderful high-budget Lovecraftian movies

  102. Lovecraft type stories & movies are about an enemy, that we are so terrified of, that we don’t allow ourselves to even think of, for fear that it might hear &/or see us… thus, come & get us… & that alone causes a Primal fear, that it pushes us over the brink, into insanity & death.

  103. Just caught The Faculty on TV – a mix of The Thing and Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers, with some great SFX and definitely in my mind a truly Lovecraftian horror, tentacles and all.

  104. I think It would fit the category since literally it’s identify is unknown and what it does is such a mystery, don’t want to spoil it but I think it’s definitely worth watching

  105. That’s because The Shape of Water is neither Lovecraftian nor horror. Not by anyone definition but especially not by the definition which Mike used at the start of this thread.

    Aside from which, I’m not sure anything del Toro has made is truly Lovecraftian… he keeps letting the good guys win (or at least die in peace). Certainly nobody ever goes insane in his horror.

    The only Hellboy that gave me same Lovecraftian impression was the second animated movie “Blood and Iron”. And del Toro had nothing to do with it.

  106. I’m not sure if they’ve been mentioned yet, but Nigel Kneale’s Quatermass films and TV series are highly Lovecraftian. Of particular note is the masterful Quatermass and the Pit, about an ancient race of extraterrestrials that have been disturbed by excavations of a new underground station, and whose psychic influence begins to spread nightmares through the streets of London. The film combines science fiction, folklore and cosmic horror in a wonderful brew, and includes magnificent performances by all of its star turns (including a very fresh-faced Julian Glover!). Despite some ropey special effects, it’s about the most perfect Lovecraftian film I’ve ever seen, capturing the spirit of his stories exactly.

  107. Triangle (2009)
    I don’t want to give spoilers for this one, but it fits very well within the definition of Lovecraftian horror as given at the start of this thread.

  108. Amazing list, will try to watch those movies.
    I will contribute with one no one said yet: Baskin (2015)
    And others turkish horror movies google can list you 🙂
    Baskin is really good to represent HP, just watch will not regret i’m sure (cultist, mindblowing things, time paradox, blood, meat, monsters, psychic things, weird stuff).

  109. I saw a fairly decent horror film the other day called ‘A Dark Song’ it’s a British flick mainly themes of occult horror but has Lovecraftian themes to it. Just thought I’d share.

  110. Hi Mike,

    Not sure if it’s mentioned in this long list of suggestions, but Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell trilogy is definitely Lovecraftian: City of the Living Dead, The Beyond and House by the Cemetery. The story revolves around The Book of Eibon by Clark Ashton Smith too!

  111. Altered State [1980]

    An outside layer of artsy scifi over a huge Lovecraftian core. It has visuals that still remain fresh and crispy in my memory.

  112. Check out: “The Void”.

    Saw it on netflix months ago. About as lovecraftian as a movie can possibly get, in terms of content and theme. Very graphic with a fair amount of body horror.

    Lots of existentialism and nihilism, creepy-as-hell silent hooded cultists, tentacled deformed monsters born from people, an insane cult leader obsessed with opening a “door” to another dimension (and succeeding), self sacrifice, pretty bleak ending for the protagonists (which is the most lovecraftian thing about the movie).

    Absolutely loved it, great production value with minimal use of CGI and a focus on practical effects.

    Also, just found this site, have been a longtime Lovecraft fan. Excellent suggestions Mike and company.

    • Hi Leeroy! Thanks for the comments about THE VOID. Glad you found the site, and I hope you’ll listen and/or watch the podcast each week. 🙂

      (Just click the “podcast” in the top left hand corner of this page.)

      Have a great weekend.


  113. Mother! 2017

    It’s not like most horror movies. It’s not like most Lovecraftian horror movies either. But this movie shows an inescapable horror and something which may-or-may-not be a descent into madness.

    And it jingled my nerves more than any traditional horror is still capable of doing…

  114. If we’re going to include The Endless, we might as well include its shared universe counterpart Resolution (2012), which adds more to the story and adds some connective tissue and depth as well.

  115. Started finally tracking down and watching all the movies I haven’t seen on this list. I’ve gained a few new favorites, including a new obsession (Possession, which I’m tracking down all the multiple cuts).

    However, today I finally got to The Burrowers and I really don’t understand why it’s on this list. It doesn’t really fit the criteria as established by the beginning of the article and it really just feels like a period piece creature feature. Any insight into your feelings on why it merits an inclusion?

  116. I wanted to mention that especially because this is a list of films that have Lovecraftian themes, rather than just a list of adaptations, it really feels like Annihilation belongs on this list. I think that it it captures the spirit of fear that the reality it exposed was something unknowable and incomprehensible from elsewhere very much like The Colour Out of Space.

  117. I can heartily recommend The Borderlands. If you can forgive the inherent flaw in all faux-found footage films, it really is a good slow burner.

    • Yes it’s a good Lovecraftian movie. It’s also mentioned 5 times already but I guess it’s just that good.

      • Gah… my bad. I thought I’d read the comments well enough, but a second run-through after your reply set me straight. I dunno if I’d go as far as to say it’s THAT good, but it IS gooder than bad, which for Lovecraftian films is pretty decent.

    • What I like especially about Borderlands, and I don’t think I’m giving away any surprises/spoilers, is the functionality of the drawings on the wall. Usually such are included to set the scene. But here you have to really study what you are seeing in order to make complete sense of the movie. I like that.

      • Yeah, good point. I will have to watch it again to get that nuance, but any detail that makes you work for an expose rather than just going “here you are with bells attached!” is a good sign. Was just pondering Lynch’s Eraserhead this morning and it strikes me that it (intended or not) fits the Lovecraftian bill quite well.

      • If I had to place Eraserhead in an objective (sub)genre I would say it fits in ‘parental existential horror’, like the Babadook. In that way it’s related to Possession (1981) which I would call ‘marital existential horror’ but is often called a Lovecraftian horror. And I can see why (it’s the tentacles).

        In my opinion: what sets them aside from real Lovecraftian horror is that humanity isn’t portrayed as insignificant. Or not enough, because human relationships appear to be the main focus of these movies. The eldritch horrors seem to be side-actors. The main protagonist(s) might be depicted as insignificant, but humanity is centre staged.

        That said I recently suggested ‘Mother!’ as a contribution to this list. It was a temporary insanity perhaps, but my actual nightmares almost always involve either strangers refusing to leave my house or repetitive-cycles-of-suffering-without-end. So… I guess you could say ‘Mother!’ felt Lovecraftian to my specific personal sensibilities. But objectively it can’t be classified as such.

  118. wow this is the list that keeps giving.. been coming back here for years. there are some wonderful films i have seen now, thanks! (and some stinkers) – still have 3 on the list i haven’t seen yet. to anyone who may be overwhelmed by the choice; out of the lesser known films i have thoroughly enjoyed these: the burrowers, dirt dauber, AM1200, the new daughter and the spider labyrinth

  119. Hereditary (2018)
    I think this goes far beyond a ‘haunting’ movie straight into Lovecraftian territory. Watch it. You’ll see what I mean.

  120. ‘Horror in the Attic’ aka ‘The Attic Expeditions’ (2001)
    Imagine if David Lynch’s ‘Lost Highway’ was a budget horror movie and included the Necronomicon.

  121. After an hour of reading through this list (seen many of these, and now have more to see), I was a bit surprised to not see Residue (2017). It is extremely Lovecraftian and I recommend for fans of John Dies At The End or House Of Leaves. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5009286/
    This one should be on the main list.

  122. Inferno 1980
    A horrormovie shot to invoke the feeling of a nightmare, with a pretty Lovecraftian adversary.

  123. Fantastic list, Mike!! By your description of Lovecraftian films, I would like to add Pandorum.

  124. This list is amazing! Thank you so much! If you haven’t heard about it yet, Bird Box (2018) sticks closer to actual cosmic horror than most movies I’ve seen. Something arrives on Earth and if you see it, you die. It might seem basic but they do it really, really well. It’s very tense, and very good.

  125. The Church 1989

    A (Lovecraftian) horror version of a Dan Brownian mystery. Like most Italian horror movies it has a surreal/dreamlike quality to it. Though it lacks the tentacles, it carries a bit of the ‘in the mouth of madness’ vibe. Perhaps that’s because of the surreal quality, setting and ‘flashbacks/memories’.

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