Tuesday, November 18, 2014

THE THING ON THE DOORSTEP (2014)

THE THING ON THE DOORSTEP (2014) 

Label: Leomark Studios
Duration: 89 mins
Region Code: 0 NTSC 

Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Video: Anamoprhic widescreen

Director: Tom Gliserman
Cast: David Bunce, Susan Cicarelli-Caputo, Mary Jane Hansen



"It is true that I have just sent six bullets through the head of my best friend, and yet I hope to show by this statement that I am not his murderer."... so begins this low-budget adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's THE THING ON THE DOORSTEP from director Tom Gliserman. 


We have Daniel Upton (David Bruce) narrating a story the possible possession or maybe just mental illness of his best friend Edward Derby (Rob Dalton) whom after marrying hypnotist Asenath Waite (Mary Jane Hansen) with whom he moves into a dilapidated mansion and becomes a bit enigmatic. Upton upon noticing these changes in his old friend's behavior he attempts to find out exactly what is happening but cannot begin to imagine what secrets await in the darkness. 


The story stays pretty damn true to the original short story written by Lovecraft in 1933 with only a few subtle changes to the setting and story and it makes for quite a compelling watch for the those who can appreciate a low budget slow-burn such as it is. 


The visual aesthetic appears to be somewhat limited and the filmmaker has opted to go with a slightly soft image favoring green hues and it suits the Lovecraftian tale quite nicely, giving it an eerie quality. Director Tom Gliserman handles editing and director of photography duties on the film and I enjoyed his framing of the scenes, proving low budget does not necessarily mean cheap looking. 


David Bunce does a fine job as Daniel Upton and at times brought to mind Paul Giamatti with his performance anchoring the film for me, at times the dreamy atmosphere could have lost me but his quest to save his friend kept me plugged in from beginning to end even though I had read the source material and new the ending.


Not a groundbreaking film but a damn decent Lovecraft adaptation with some good atmosphere and solid performances. Your mileage may vary depending on your tolerance for low budget filmmaking but I found this to be a compelling and creepy Lovecraft tale. 


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