I know that there is a sizable contingent of horror fandom
that does not like THE DUNWICH HORROR (1970). I understand this. The first time
I saw the film I was unimpressed and found it a rather mixed bag. There were
elements I liked but the modern day setting and the use of odd editing choices
to communicate some of the supernatural influences were off-putting. But the
film stuck with me. Since my second viewing years ago I have come to really
like the movie - not in spite of it's perceived flaws but because of those
odder ingredients. It's those stranger choices that set the film apart from all
but the more experimental Lovecraft adaptations. In trying to find a way to
visualize the more uncanny parts of what HPL writes about the director went
with something interesting but potentially irritating . Given how disliked the
film is I suspect that, for most, it doesn't work. I know that these components
were probably used to hide budgetary problems but that just makes them more
interesting for me. I'm glad to say that - like an other-dimensional slime mold
- it has grown on me.
Plus, Dean Stockwell's performance is slickly mesmerizing.
Rarely has such a creepy character slithered across the screen so smoothly. I
only wish his third act demise was more satisfying and not another example of a
low budget effect.