LJN: 1984 DUNE Action Figure FEYD RAUTHA
I am amazed that this exists. I had no idea before now.
Scrubs, teaching white people life lessons
One of the few scenes from Scrubs that I remember.
Find a job that you love (my current job). Failing that, find things ABOUT your job that you can love (my previous job, tending bar, wasn’t a job that I loved, but I made friends with my coworkers and would write articles/stories when I didn’t have customers, so I still had reasons to look forward to going to work). Failing that, acknowledge that you are not your job, and your job is just one PART of your life, and then find other stuff in your life that you love that have nothing to do with work (my job years ago, when I sold shoes. I couldn’t make that job fun, but I found fun elsewhere, and selling shoes put money in my pocket that I could later spend on things I enjoyed).
Great advice from DOB.
What I want to know, and what I hope someone will help me discover, is whether or not biology plays a fundamental role in shaping people’s experience with immersive virtual reality. In other words, are systems like Oculus fundamentally (if inadvertently) sexist in their design?
I don’t actually care about Oculus, but this research is fascinating.
Someone should do a Donalds bracket.
Donald Glover, obviously the freshest.
As a native Arizonan, I feel this far too often.
Video games: (in no particular order)
- The Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
A flawed—the stealth segments can be absolutely dreadful—but ultimately wonderful gem. If you want to know what it feels like to run for your very life in Innsmouth à la The Shadow over Innsmouth, mixed with The Shadow out of Time, then this game is certainly an experience you do not want to deprive yourself of.
- Mass Effect
The first game had very strong Lovecraftian elements within its narrative. Unfortunately, this sense of cosmic dread is lost in the sequel and by Mass Effect 3 you swear it was never even there.
- Amnesia: The Dark Descent
You might have undoubtedly heard of this video game before, but if you haven’t I strongly advise you not to search for videos or images of the game. This game is chock full of Lovecraftian horror and I will leave it at that before I ramble on and on.
- Alan Wake
The author is namedropped more than that the game actually evokes Lovecraftian horror, but it certainly is littered with nods of respect towards the master of modern horror.
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Despite the fact that this game is more of a fantasy RPG than anything else, the main storyline is basically a retelling of A Shadow over Innsmouth with a side quest in it named “A Shadow over Hackdirt.” It might not be a horror game, but it certainly owes much of its story to Lovecraft.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Again, it’s more of a fantasy RPG than anything else, but the Dragonborn DLC is essentially the Dragonborn visiting Yog-Sothoth’s realm.
Even though it is cetainly not a horror game and could be more described as a first-person roguelike Minecraft mod, the world is entirely built on Lovecraft’s oeuvre.
You might not immediately see why this game makes it to the list when you see an image like this. But I assure you that the game is one of my best personal experiences with Lovecraftian horror done right in video games. You can play the game for free here or you can support the developers by buying the HD version on Steam.
- Penumbra: Overture | Penumbra: Black Plague | Penumbra: Requiem
Before Frictional Games would develop the famous Amnesia: The Dark Descent, they had created a trilogy of episodic first-person survival horror games to which the Amnesia series is a spiritual successor of. Some of my friends argue that the first two games—the third one, Penumbra: Requiem, features no enemies and focuses solely on puzzle-solving—are scarier than ATDD due to its atmosphere. The Gothic castle of ATDD is indeed less Lovecraftian than the cold, harsh and unforgivable landscapes of icy Greenland and the horrors that hide below. Evokes a sense of solitude and hostility like At the Mountains of Madness and in the words of my friend Frank, “It’s just so cold.”
A Gothic horror game with eldritch horrors clawing and gunning at you. The final boss is named Shub-Niggurath. The Lovecraftian influences are more superficial than anything else.
- Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened
A strangely successful clash of two universes, this game shows what happens when the famous sleuth is thrown into “The Call of Cthulhu.” There is no disrespectful treatment of both source materials. The racism that is so abundant in Lovecraft’s writings sure as hell finds its solace here. It is somewhat confusing how you’re playing a modern game that so perfectly encapsulates the exact same racist narratives from Victorian novels combined with Lovecraft’s rabid xenophobia.
- They Bleed Pixels
A 2D indie platformer where its aesthetics are Lovecraft through and through. Tough as hell, though.
- Cthulhu Saves the World
Surprisingly funny game. Once you’ve read all of Lovecraft’s stories, you will certainly have some laughs at the reference to the abysmal “The Street.”
There are a ton of other games I could recommend, but they merely allude to Lovecraft or reference his creations—namedropping Cthulhu or the Necronomicon always works—at one point in their storyline (e.g. Deadlight, Max Payne, Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Saints Row 2, Fable II, Fable III etc.). Others feature one mission that is almost always a retelling of A Shadow over Innsmouth (e.g. The Witcher) whilst others have Lovecraftian-esque monsters but do not necessarily stay faithful to the principles of Cosmicism (e.g. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade).
Basically a bastardised version of At the Mountains of Madness. Thanks to this film we will not have Guillermo del Toro’s cinematic adaptation of this story for at least a decade and, quite possibly, we may never will.
- The Thing from Another World
Despite it originally being inspired by John W. Campbell’s Who Goes There?, it is argued by scholar Jason Colavito in “The Cthulhu Comparison” (you can read the essay here) that Lovecraft inadvertently popularised the ancient astronauts story with his novella At the Mountains of Madness. This story would cement Antarctica (or similarly remote and icy landscapes such as the North Pole or even Greenland) as a recurring environment for the ancient astronauts narrative. It is also one of the few films that had its actors have multiple dialogues to mimic real-life conversations with people talking simultaneously on screen etc. This film might not be seen as Lovecraftian by others, but you’ll definitely have to see it for the The Thing.
- The Thing
John Carpenter’s The Thing is a retelling of The Thing from Another World but with the Lovecraftian horror up to eleven. The gore factor is also raised sky high, so anyone who is triggered or upset by gore, I would certainly not recommend this film.
- The Call of Cthulhu
I think it’s pretty obvious as to why this film is on the list. A brilliant and faithful adaptation of the famous short story.
An incomprehensible creature from the inky black void of space finds its way on to the ship of the Nostromo and wreaks havoc. It cannot be understood, the thing itself is utterly alien to us. Strong similarities with At the Mountains of Madness where the Elder Things engineered the shoggoths as beasts of burden only to have them revolt against their masters. The implication of the lone, dead Space Jockey on the alien ship has strong Lovecraftian implications. Not to mention that the ship and the denizens itself evoke a sense of ancientness. The sequels, comic books, literature and video games expanded the universe, but the initial fear of the unknown back when the first film was released is still there, you just have to look for it yourself. (Also, the designer of the Alien, H. R. Giger, has stated to be heavily inspired by Lovecraft. He has even released a book named Necronomicon.)
The general unknowability of a monster that was awoken from its slumber beneath the illimitable darkness of the deep sea just screams Lovecraftian horror.
- The Mist
A mysterious, strange mist appears out of nowhere and engulfs a small town. The mist brings all sorts of otherworldly creatures with it and I personally find the film to be at its best when you only perceive a glimpse of these mist-dwelling creatures from beyond.
Despite it being named after Lovecraft’s short story of the same name, the film is actually a cinematic adaptation of The Shadow over Innsmouth and a surprisingly decent one as well. It does, however, feature off-screen rape in it (by Dagon). So if you are triggered by this I would advise you not to watch it. You can call Lovecraft the disgusting racist, xenophobic anti-Semite that he is (and he certainly is), but at least he didn’t his female characters only to be raped or be rape survivors/victims (unlike the people who are inspired by him - I’m looking at you in particular, Alan Moore).
A great compilation of other film recommendations can be found here on Lovecraftzine.com, by Mike Davis. Check out the comment section for more films.
- Marble Hornets
Some might disagree with my decision here, but the utter unknowability of the Operator and the ARG format of Marble Hornets strongly evokes Lovecraftian horror. You have the strange geometrical jumps of “The Dreams in the Witch House” and a horrifying sense of wrongness surrounding the Operator. Being in its vicinity will cause you to cough blood and sometimes even lose consciousness. It is as if by merely existing that its presence will, intentionally or unintentionally, taint all that is around it. You don’t know anything about it other than that it just is. The other Slenderman ARGs are, in my opinion, vastly inferior to Marble Hornets. The narrative, pacing, cinematography and tension is unmatched. You can watch the series for free on the official YouTube channel here. If you do watch it, I highly recommend you to take note of the upload dates. They tell a story, you just have to piece it all together yourself, just like the protagonist himself, Jay. There is also another channel by the series’ creators called totheark. The brilliant thing about it is that the creators created this as an outlet for more experimental, deeply unsettling and creepy videos that come in the format of video responses to the Entries of the Marble Hornets channel. Someone or something is sending cryptic videos to Jay via the same medium as the one we are all using. In a way, something deeply wrong exists on the internet and its presence is an infection of sorts. Here is a list of videos telling you which totheark video is a response to a certain Entry. I highly suggest you watch the series in this order. DO NOT READ THE WEBPAGE FURTHER IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO READ POSSIBLE SPOILERS.
Books / short stories: (some of these examples are not necessarily Lovecraftian, but I do think they are definitely worth checking out - most of these works listed inspired Lovecraft to become the writer we love or hate)
- "The Willows" by Algernon Blackwood.
Deeply unsettling and creepy. It becomes apparent why Lovecraft listed this short story as his personal favourite in his brilliant essay Supernatural Horror in Literature.You can read the story for free on Project Gutenberg or find “The Willows” in the wonderful collection Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories, edited and extensively annotated by S. T. Joshi himself."Here art and restraint in narrative reach their very highest development, and an impression of lasting poignancy is produced without a single strained passage or a single false note." - Lovecraft
- Shards of Darkness: Of the Tomb and the Void by Sean Hill.
One of the newly emerging horror authors and a personal friend of mine. He is extremely knowledgeable on all things Lovecraft and his extensive knowledge of Uncle Howie’s writings is reflected in Shards of Darkness. Sean’s stories show a firm grasp of Lovecraftian horror without surrendering to the temptations of the genre’s tropes. It is a skilful and powerful homage and Sean has always managed to provide me with countless of sleepless nights as I read his drafts. I highly recommend you listen to Lustmord’s “Black Star” at night for maximum experience. Needless to say, Sean Hill has never failed to scare the living crap out of me. You can contact the author and order your copy on email@example.com and you can find out more on the official Facebook page. But hurry up! There’s a limited number of these books and the supply is running out!
- "A Warning to the Curious" and "Canon Alberic’s Scrap-Book" by M. R. James.
Albeit a ghost story, it is nonetheless essential reading for everyone interested in horror literature. The purveying sense of wrongness is particularly effective as James writes in a horrifyingly disarming manner. James’ horror stories might seem like a tad bit dull in the beginning but every single time I have shivers down my spine when that inevitable disconnect comes, the point of no return. Some thing is disturbed and the awareness of the thing’s existence triggers a spiralling, unforgivable downfall. You can read the “A Warning to the Curious” for free on The Literary Gothic or purchase the anthology I have, The Haunted Doll’s House and Other Ghost Stories. “Canon Alberic’s Scrap-Book” can be found for free on The Literary Gothic or you can buy it here for a cheap price.
- The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers.
I might not have read the book itself, but a friend of mine highly recommends the two short stories “The Yellow Warning” and “The Repairer of Reputations.” You can find various editions on the internet. If you wish to read it for free then check out Project Gutenberg. Also, Hastur and the Yellow Sign come from Robert W. Chambers (Hastur was first created by Ambrose Bierce but Chambers made it fit into the larger “mythos” of Lovecraftian horror).
- I would not recommend anything of August Derleth. He has butchered the essence of Lovecraftian horror and… he’s just an awful writer. Don’t do yourself a massive disservice by reading his stories, but if the masochistic side of you can’t resist then you could always check out The Trail of Cthulhu and The Mask of Cthulhu. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
- The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen.
One of Lovecraft’s favourite stories. You can read it for free on Project Gutenberg or buy it with M. P. Shiel’s “Xelucha,” also a story Lovecraft liked. You can read more of Arthur Machen in S. T. Joshi’s annotated and edited collection of short stories, The White People and Other Weird Stories.
- House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.
Although this is not necessarily a Lovecraftian horror story, the Navidson Record is particularly brilliant and incredibly creepy. This is the only version worth having.
- In the Land of Time and Other Fantasy Stories by Lord Alfred Dunsany.
There would be no “Dream-Cycle” without Lord Dunsay. So it you want to begin somewhere either buy this book or look for each individual story on Project Gutenberg.
For more new Lovecraftian fiction I would recommend this list compiled by Mike Davis on Lovecraftzine.com.
This list will be expanded in the future with a music section and one for scholarly reading. Fernando might also be able to add a few recommendations himself. But for now, this is all I can give you in the short time I spent compiling this list. I hope you will be able to find something worthwhile.
All the best,
I would add Eternal Darkness. Only available on Nintendo GameCube, playable on the Wii. It’s one if the best Lovecraft games I’ve ever played.
In Mass Effect, they bring back the Lovecraft elements for the ME3 DLC called Leviathan.