Filmmaker Julian Grant, a professor for over 20-years, returns to low and micro budgets, known for his zombie art house film The Defiled [2010] and before that Electra (1996) which starred Shannon Tweed, now delivers an H.P. Lovecraft inspired film, and new avenue in the tiresome genre of found footage. His film presents ghosts, possessions, and a range of other twisted imaginaries, which add to the undertones of range and mistrust in this original story.

The focus of the story centers on Mark (Shannon Brown (Feast [2014])) who seems to be living on a one directional course of self-caring, after caught sleeping with his best friend’s wife, and seeking to become a television star of paranormal research hence writing his own ticket to stardom, he breaks into the infamous Arkham Sanitarium. His mission is to disprove the theories of his friend, Jerry (Marc Edwards (Poetic [2012])) who uses technology to disprove and debunk spooky phenomena, as haunted in another word for tourist trap to reap thousands of dollars. In addition, the rumors that abound on the location, many other experts in the field of unexplained sciences, cannot survive a night in the location, and that legend only encourages Mark, giving a false sense of alpha-dog mentality. The response from the remainder of the team, Jerry, and his wife Linda (Rinska Carrasco (The Cropsey Incident [2017])) must take on the out-of-control persona; however, these underlying currents between all three have repercussions in a demon controlled haunted building, which might have a portal to another dimension. Linda, a psychic, feels the warnings to vacate the premises immediately however, the warnings in most haunted movies go unanswered, for if you adhere to them, then no movie. Marc’s performance as a possessed soul, convincingly done, with all of them drugged deeper and deeper into the core of the Sanitarium’s twisted past. A past involving sex and death, with evil demons, tortured souls, and a real life tentacle Cthulhu octopus face humping and raping bizarreness occurring at Linda’s expense. This creature brought the vaguely anthropoid in many of descriptions in Lovecraft’s mind, and herein as an octopus like head a face of long tangled tentacles, yet appeared very rubbery and overabundance of latex, and needed the assistance of cult follower to hold it still so it could rape its intended victim.

A great aspect, the creation of the history, the deadly deviant cult that existed in the confines of the space, with psychotic maniacs, both violent and sexual, their works document in the paranormal world, under the banner of Miskatonic Massacres decades ago. This is an interesting aspect concerning the name, as a Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, with a course on Miskatonic’s Patron Saint Lovecraft. The film contains a blend of profane language, and yet an evolution growth of weird micro-orbs feeding off the hate, anger, disgust, and wretched tainted friendship to create more hideous monsters to attack and possess the party of three.

Grant provides a very dark, twisted black sarcasm trying to pass as humor, with semi-powerful mood lightning, while delivering modest thrills. The issue when dealing with Lovecraft stories and herein Cthulhu the special effects drain dollars from a budget and with an almost nothing budget. Now this film falls in the found footage category and the tapes remain in the police department control, but the footage all edits, sound spot on, close ups and intriguing angles, everything a “movie” has to entertain, meanwhile the dialog fits properly as if a script were provided and the actors knew their roles. Nevertheless, the paranormal rollercoaster nightmare soars clearly, with vast amounts of atmosphere; mix with soundtrack, which boils over with dark driven music similar to Midnight Syndicate’s style of instrumental sequences. An entertaining film, with a forward thinking screenplay rounding out by talent actors, and providing creative shots layered with spooky demonic tones, and endless range of terrors plaguing the cast and audience.

Overall, the production, had a refreshing course in the found footage nightmare genre, where storylines fade fast, so-called acting replaces talent, and questionable directing abounds, none of that exists here, the Grants delivers and stellar design that has both gore and entrainment values. Shannon kept one hook with a captivating performance and blurring the line of the sociopath, and Rinska brings the passion of love for men, and anger of that of the psychological boost from the rape and to the objection as a sexual instrument of both leading men. This is fine addition into the sub-genre of Lovecraft for fans to enjoy.

IMDb Rating: 2.2/10

Baron’s Rating: 2.5/10

This review was originally published on the now defunct Rogue Cinema website back in November 2014.