Release dateMarch 12, 2011 (2011-03-12) (Athens Film Festival)
May 19, 2011 (2011-05-19) (United States) WriterSean Branney (screenplay), Andrew Leman (screenplay), H.P. Lovecraft (story) Initial DVD releaseSeptember 26, 2012 (Finland) CastStephen Blackehart (Charlie Tower), Matt Foyer (Albert Wilmarth), Barry Lynch (Henry Akeley), Annie Abrams (Starlet), Matt Lagan (Nathaniel Ward) Similar moviesMad Max: Fury Road, Jurassic World, Furious 7, Taken 3, John Wick, The Transporter Refueled
The whisperer in darkness trailer 2
The Whisperer in Darkness is a 2011 independent film based on the H. P. Lovecraft short story of the same name, directed and produced by Sean Branney, Andrew Leman, and David Robertson and distributed by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. It was shot using Mythoscope, a blend of vintage and modern filming techniques intended to produce the look of a 1930s-era film. According to the film's website, the filmmakers intended to capture the look of "classic horror films of the 1930s like Dracula, Frankenstein and King Kong".
For the first two acts, the plot follows the short story. In the third act, the protagonist, Wilmarth, uncovers an attempt by cultists to open a gateway between Yuggoth and Earth. He foils the plot with the help of Hannah, the child of one of the collaborators. His escape is unsuccessful and at the end of the film the audience discovers that Wilmarth has been narrating from a machine attached to the cylinder in which his brain now resides. This differs from the original story in which Wilmarth flees in the middle of the night and safely returns to Arkham.
According to Sean Branney on the making-of featurette "The Whisperer Behind the Scenes," Lovecraft was better at set-ups than endings. From a dramatic standpoint, Lovecraft's story brought the writers through what would be "Act Two" of a standard movie structure and felt incomplete. The character of Hannah and opening of gate to Yuggoth were introduced in order to "[make it] a good movie". Branney and Leman intended to make Wilmarth's world "more emotionally complicated" because Hannah's future caused him to be "invested in more than just himself". The characters of Wilmarth's three friends at Miskatonic University were developed from Call of Cthulhu role-playing characters created years before by Branney, Leman, and a friend. Regarding the introduction of a biplane, Leman commented, "If you have monsters that fly, you have to have a dogfight with a biplane."
In order of appearance:
Paul Ita as Farmer
Matt Foyer as Albert Wilmarth
Matt Lagan as Nathaniel Ward
Lance J. Holt as Davis Bradbury
Andrew Leman as Charles Fort
Stephen Blackehart as Charlie Tower
David Pavao as Jordan Lowell
Don Martin as Dean Hayes
Joe Sofranko as George Akeley
Barry Lynch as Henry Akeley
Martin Wately as Walter Brown
Daniel Kaemon as P.F. Noyes
Caspar Marsh as Will Masterson
Autumn Wendel as Hannah Masterson
Sean Branney as B-67
Annie Abrams as Aviatrix
Zack Gold as Astronomer
John Jabaley as Superintendent
The filmmakers used Mount Holyoke College to represent Miskatonic University. Pasadena City College is used for interior scenes of the school.
The Whisperer in Darkness did not have a theatrical release but appeared at dozens of film festivals in over a dozen countries. It was then released on DVD and Blu-ray in early 2012.
The Whisperer in Darkness received highly positive reviews. It holds 80% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. On the Internet Movie Database it has 6.7 out of 10 stars. John J. Puccio of Movie Metropolis said "The atmospherics are in place, and the filmmakers catch the essence of Lovecraft's expansive horror with efficiency. The film is entertaining without attaining greatness." Andrew O'Hehir of Salon.com said "'Whisperer in Darkness' has a chiller-diller conclusion and some moments of real terror."
The Whisperer in Darkness was nominated at Oaxaca Film Fest.