Yes shipmates, we live in a strange grotesque world in which Tori Spelling stars in an extremely modernised, stylised and way more openly gay adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's Shadow over Innsmouth.

And it's good!

hey cool
Makes you want to wade too far out into the surf
but YUCK
Bit of a strain on my human drama bias

Excuse me I was supposed to hate this. It's full of things I normally consider movie poison, like disfunctional family bickering and people coming to terms with their sexuality. But any rule can be broken, everything is permitted - even that crap - if you do it right. It was a weird sensation seeing that sort of thing in a movie and not only tolerating it but thinking it actually kind of works.

The point has been made by real writers that the stories of H.P. Lovecraft aren't about monsters. Cthulhu isn't some octopus head King Kong stomping cities, but rather the awesome dread of the sea itself. He's in the shots of churning waves and rising tides, felt behind the ominous radio announcements and nervous empty streets. Although HPL surely wouldn't approve of the liberties taken with his story, he said atmosphere is the thing in weird fiction, and it's thick as R'lyeh fog here. Something is coming from the deep, and that sense of looming and change are in every frame.

Despite the title it's all Shadow over Innsmouth. Although heavily altered it keeps the central themes - guy comes to town, sees weird shit, buys Zadok a drink, fish people. I imagine it would have been called Dagon if that hadn't been taken. Although somewhat less true to the story this is a more effective telling than the Stuart Gordon piece, and with a darker ending than even Lovecraft's. The end scenes of the town gone amok and people walking into the sea are just beautiful. I wish I could hear the call.

This is normally where I'd bitch about the lead protagonist being a pressed block of overdone character development, but like I said, it works here. They walk that fine line; the drama, actor, and performance colour the doomed character in a way even I can feel pathos for, and that's rare as... well let's count: Eleanor from The Haunting, Mary from Carnival of Souls, Detective Cameron...

The director Daniel Gildark put the whole movie up on YouTube for free. Who does that? We live in an age where you can actually find a few good Lovecraft movies in the sea of horrible ones. I'd guess there's about a .001% chance anyone finds Cthulhu from reading this "website" but if you do you owe me a beer in whatever purgatory people like us are heading for.