First, the bad, and it is pretty bad. The CGI and green-screen work is simply atrocious. A lot of it does seriously remind one of a decade old video game, and not a good video game. The first ten minutes of the movie is dominated by it but if you hang in there, what you will find is something very surprising.
Now the good, and there is a substantial amount of good to be found here.
I'll start with a nod to the score which kept reminding me of something John Carpenter would have done and, to me, that is a very good thing. As the movie moves from its start as an action adventuremonster flick to a somber melodrama following our leads decent into madness, the score continues to keep the energy up through what I would term as very patient pacing.
As a bit of balance to the poor CGI much of the practical effects were good. With some unabashed blood and various levels of body horror as well as a satisfactory rendering, it has plenty of payoff if blood and guts are your sort of thing. The monster was left largely unseen, another nod to Lovecraft as were it actually shown correctly, we the viewers would be driven mad by the sight of it. Nudge nudge wink wink.
I found the acting and its direction to be solid, and at times quite good. While the somewhat dingy sister and the milquetoast boyfriend were a bit on the cliché eventual monster food variety the roles were played well and I found them to be believable enough.
The story, ahhhh the story. For me this is where the movie is really a bit special. It has proved to be very very difficult to correctly put together a movie that captures the essence of the stories of H.P. Lovecraft. This one, I think, rather nailed it. It is not a tale of us verses it where, in the end, the monster is slain and the heroine gets away. It is a tale of a person who, unwittingly, pokes at something vast and terrible and pays the price with first their sanity and then their life. It is the story of a decent into madness brought about by contact with something that is beyond reason. When watching it one knows that this is not going to end well for anyone pretty early on and this is all part of the way Lovecraft wove his tales. Again, to reuse a phrase from earlier, all of this is told, as Lovecraft told his tales, with a horrific patience that draws one in to the mounting madness.
I think for all fans of Lovecraft there was a complete geek out when the lead finally sinks deep into madness and starts describing the experience using entire passages of Lovecraft's work to do so. Placing Lovecraft's prose directly on to film is not an easy thing to pull off but here it was done quite well.
All in all what we end up with is a movie that works very well if one is a fan of Lovecraft as the "mythos" part of the movie is, in my opinion, some of the best ever done which makes it much easier to forgive the terrible special effects. For those that are not already a fan of Lovecraft, however, there may be more of a disconnect as it is a patiently paced horrordrama book ended by some bad special effects.
I would love to see those who were involved creatively on this project to be given the chance to bring what they seem to be able to do in a larger way. I would actually love to see this movie having been made with a substantial budget. Actually "getting" Lovecraft in a movie is a terrific thing, and not an easy thing to do. I would love to see it done in a more spectacular way.
Review by sam21462 from the Internet Movie Database.