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Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 27: Masters of Horror: Dreams In The Witch-House

Masters of Horror: Dreams In The Witch-House
Who's house? The Witch's house!

H.P. Lovecraft is one of my favorite authors. I'm such a fan that I have even visited his grave site in Providence, RI. He is one of the few writers that transcends time in his ability to scare people with his work. His stories create unique and creepy worlds that many try to duplicate, but none can match. You would think with such great stories and an already built-in fan base, we'd be overwhelmed with great Lovecraft-inspired stories. Unfortunately, there are not many Lovecraftian movies and most are just not that good. I was cautiously optimistic when I started to watch Masters of Horror: Dreams In The Witch-House.

Dreams In The Witch-House follows the story of graduate student Walter Gillman, played by Ezra Godden (Dagon, Band of Brothers). Walter, who is studying inter-dimensional string theory, rents a room in an old, run-down boarding house in Massachusetts. Walter is plagued by bizarre, otherworldly dreams that include a human-faced rat and an old witch. As he gets closer to completing his thesis, the dreams grow more intense and Walter can swear that they are actually happening. What do the dreams actually mean and what does the witch want with Walter?

Edgar Winter looks great

I have read Lovecraft's “Dreams In The Witch-House,” so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. The movie is fairly loyal to the overall story, but adds a few things. The movie is set in modern times, which is disappointing because it was unnecessary. Another unnecessary addition was a female love interest for Walter. I know a love interest is needed in movies, but the story was perfectly fine having none. Though, the nudity was a small bonus. Ultimately, the story is still the same, but since I already knew the story, I was disappointed to see changes.

The cast does a fine acting job and director Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator, From Beyond) knows his Lovecraft. Gordon does a good job of creating a creepy and sinister atmosphere. The effects are good, but the human-faced rat, Brown Jenkins, looks very silly. I guess its hard to make him look scary, but fully CGI creature would have been better than a real person's face superimposed on a rat body. There are some creepy and unsettling moments, enough to keep your average horror fan happy.

Nothing ridiculous about this. Nothing at all

Dreams In The Witch-House is a fun movie based on a great story by a fantastic writer. There are plans to make a movie based on Lovecraft's story “At The Mountains of Madness.” If you are new to H.P. Lovecraft, this movie is a great starting off point. Good directing and acting, solid pacing, and a great atmosphere really help bring the story to life. There are some unnecessary additions for the movie crowd that were not in the original story, so if you're a purist, you may be disappointed. Otherwise, you're in for a good viewing.



  1. I've seen this one and I have to say it is quite memorable, albeit bizarre as I was indeed new to HP Lovecraft. Others in the Masters of Horror series are good too, especially 'Cigarette Burns'.

    1. Lovecraft is better read than viewed. The story is far more intense when it takes place in an earlier time.