Director - Sean Patrick O'Reilly (Pixies, Kagagi)
Starring - Kiefer O'Reilly (Legends of Tomorrow, Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues), Alison Wandzura (Van Helsing, The X-Files), and Christopher Plummer (Priest, Rock-A-Doodle)
Release Date - 2016
Genre - Horror/Children's/Adventure
Tagline - "For Howard, things are about to get R'lyeh crazy"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
Not many people have left their mark on horror like pulp horror author H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft's stories has inspired, frightened, and mesmerized readers for over 100 years. His imagination and creations still strike fear and madness into his readers after all these years and some of his creations can be found everywhere in pop culture. A good portion of his stories have now been adapted into films and television shows but very few films mention Lovecraft himself. I have seen a few documentaries over the years that were very short and the comedy Last Lovecraft which is based on a distant relative of Lovecraft but no many has been made about his life and what inspired him to write the things that we know him for. Recently, Scream Factory released the animated film Howard Lovecraft & the Frozen Kingdom. I reached out to them and they were kind enough to hook me up with a review copy. Thanks guys!
The film follows little Howard Lovecraft (O'Reilly) who visits his father in the sanitarium. His father tells him about a book he wrote and how it needs to be destroyed. He then gives him a coin and his mother takes him home. She then gives him a book that his father had written in a strange language. He reads the world aloud and is sent to a frozen world where he befriends a giant creature and a family but is forced to search for another book with promises of thawing the frozen land and being sent home by an evil woman. Howard does as asked and accidentally awakens Cthulhu who happens to be his friend Spot. Howard and his new friends must come together to stop the evil woman and bring Spot back.
I went into this one with little expectations. I am a huge fan of Lovecraft, as most of you know, but an indie animated movie about Lovecraft as a child just sounded like it was set up to fail. With that being said, it was actually pretty fun. The animation was not the best but the overall film was rather entertaining. The voice acting in this one is somewhere in the middle. Some of the voice actors are spot on - most noticeably Ron Perlman and Christopher Plummer with a surprise performance from young Kiefer O'Reilly. All three match their characters perfectly and make the scenes worth the watch while the rest of the cast feels out of place which makes their characters fall flat. Not everyone is on the same level which does affect the overall film. The story for this one is very imaginative and full of adventure but it does feel like so much more could have happened. Lovecraft's mythos are so rich in story and mystery that this take on his childhood for children misses a lot of opportunities to incorporate so much more into it. Finally, the animation for this one is not that bad but I have seen a lot better especially in an indie film. Indie films have a lot of obstacles in front of them and the biggest is budget. It will always be budget and this affects the final product. I get that and for what the film is, it looks good but I have seen better in no budget cinema. Overall, Howard Lovecraft & the Frozen Kingdom is a fun film and a great introductory film for any child interested in Lovecraft. It has a decent amount of adventure and a little action. Check it out.