The unfilmable?
H. P. Lovecraft and the cinema
in Monstrous adaptations
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H. P. Lovecraft described his work as a form of 'non-supernatural cosmic art' and the Lovecraft scholar, S. T. Joshi, uses the term 'cosmicism' to describe the sensations described in and evoked by Lovecraft's stories. Considering the immense impact of Lovecraft's stories on modern culture, at first sight it might seem surprising how few of them have been filmed. Lovecraft himself judged films based on literary works solely according to their fidelity to their source. He concludes that: 'Generally speaking, the cinema always cheapens and degrades any literary material it gets hold of, especially anything in the least subtle or unusual'. As in all horror, the creation of monsters carries with it the danger that they will not be horrifying enough and the films vary in how they translate his slimy, tentacular beings to the screen.

Monstrous adaptations

Generic and thematic mutations in horror film

Editors: Richard J. Hand and Jay McRoy


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