I have and will always be a fan of all things Lovecraftian. To me, H.P. Lovecraft, still to this
day, is ahead of his time and came up with gothic horror and unfathomable terrors that perhaps
only Ramsey Campbell and/or Clive Barker has managed to touch on equally present day. Those
authors aren’t as widely known as a Stephen King, of course because of their stylings, and so it
has remained that Lovecraft remains not as popular as deserved. Still, a few mainstream ideas or
at least characters of Lovecraft have broken the pop culture barrier, and among them is the dark
lord, Cthulhu…and Cthulhu is exactly who director Nick Spooner along with his fellow co-scripters
John Simpson and Guy Benoit have “crafted” into their short film, The Call of Charlie (yes, a direct
pun to Lovecraft’s classic, The Call of Cthulhu).
The cast of the film are solid actors that you’ve likely seen in film and TV productions before –
Brooke Smith, Evan Arnold, Roberta Valderrama, Harry Sinclair, Kristen Slaysman and even under
all the wonderful, practical FX work and creature design by a whole crew of talented artists, there’s
actor Sven Holmberg working method-perfect to give us mannerisms that say everything his mute,
Cthulhu-as-man character cannot. It’s just a great group that all work perfectly on screen and
really sell the primary tone of the film, which is that it’s very darkly humorous.
The set-up is this: Smith and Sinclair are a couple at home preparing for dinner guests, but
the couple that shows up, first, being Arnold and Valderrama who decided to drop by in a “surprise-
we’re-in-town” manner are not at all expected to have to deal with. No, the intended others coming
to dinner show up moments later individually being Slaysman’s character who is dolled up
apparently for a blind date pairing with Charlie (Holmberg’s Cthulhu looking humanoid demon
character) also dressed as nicely as possible despite his obvious demonic looking hands and
demon-tentacled-multi-eyed face. Charlie’s appearance is no big deal at all and completely
ignored by everyone except the surprise couple of Arnold and Valderrama, but the two do their
best to just go along with everything.
I won’t spoil things by detailing much else, so I’ll just hint that the night escalates rather
quickly, hilariously and does end in rather expected, Lovecraftian fashion of sorts. This short film
is not to be missed, and it’s one that immediately makes you want to be on the waiting list for
whatever this same crew of film makers decide to film next. I am definitely expecting to hear bigger
and bigger things for them in the near future.
See. This. Film. It’s THAT good.
Film Fest Preview: The Call of Charlie
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