Last month saw the return of director Richard Stanley with Color Out of SpaceAs adaptations of cult horror writer H.P.Lovecraft go it did a pretty decent job: the right amount of eldritch horror, mixed with just a touch of existential dread. Indeed the success of the film has led Stanley to promise a new trilogy of  Lovecraft adaptations with The Dunwich Horror serving as a second installment  – which got us thinking about the Lovecraft stories we’d love to see from other filmmakers.

To be clear this is very much a wishlist – none of the filmmakers have expressed interest in adapting Lovecraft, but if they did these are the stories we think they’d be best suited for. One final note on adaptation rules: like Color Out of Space, as long as they stick to the main stories (which, admittedly, are quite hard to explain) they are free to adapt characters, settings, and action as they please.

Robert Eggers – The Call of Cthulu

Interestingly Lovecraft’s signature work doesn’t have much of a story to it; it’s a collection of reports and letters all pertaining to a mythic sleeping creature, Cthulu. However, Robert Eggers substituted plot for atmosphere and tension to fantastic effect in The Lighthouse. Furthermore, his excellent ear for archaic dialogue would make him the ideal candidate for adapting Lovecraft’s unique Arkham dialect, key to building discomfort. This would be a fantastic nightmare of a film with each scene building tension and mystery until the final reveal by which point you’ve, hopefully, left your sanity far behind you.

Mati Diop – The Shadow Over Innsmouth

Mati Diop’s debut Atlantics is a masterclass in throwing an audience off guard. Beginning as a detective story, Atlantics suddenly veers into the surreal as police literally come into contact with the secret horrors of their town. It’s a film that reveals a lot about how we see ourselves and our fellow humans, all while telling an engaging story that blends both realism and supernaturalism. A combination that works perfectly for an adaptation of Innsmouth, in which a young reporter visits a small fishing village only to discover a dark secret hanging over its inhabitants.

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Courtesy of: NetflixUK

Lynne Ramsay – At the Mountains of Madness

Guillermo Del Toro came very close to bringing Lovecraft’s longest story to screen. As great as that would have been what would it have looked like in the hands of Lynne Ramsay? Ramsay’s films play out inside your head; small bits of information or emotion are given, while we piece the rest together. It’s what makes her a master of the craft and her films so rewatchable. It’s also the desired effect of Lovecraft’s prose, the horror hitting hardest once the story is finished. If Ramsay turned her attention to Lovecraft’s Mountains, where mystery hangs around every corner and time seems completely out of joint, what eldritch wonders she could make.

Kiyoshi Kurosawa – The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

If you haven’t seen Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s J-Horror work then do so – at your own peril. Kurosawa’s skill is presenting to the audience an ordinary scene and very gradually changing it into the most upsetting and horrifying sequence ever committed to film. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward follows an investigation into the last member of an eccentric family, taking twists and turns that will rattle your brain. Kurosawa’s adaptation would leave audiences a blubbering wreck as he gradually reveals the true history of the Ward family and how their actions push the story beyond any recognisable reality.

Courtesy of: Arrow Films

Courtesy of: Arrow Films

Joel & Ethan Coen – Providence

This is a long shot, and also not strictly a Lovecraft story, but it’s also a match made in heaven. Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows’ comic series Providence follows a fictional writer as he travels through Lovecraft-era New England. The Coens love having their characters encounter the unexpected, often on biblical proportions, and seeing how they cope with it. Providence is a whistle-stop tour of Lovecraft stories with its central character accidentally finding himself in each of them as he travels across the country. The encounters payoff with comic, mysterious and ultimately tragic results, and while the Coens may never adapt it, it is certainly within their wheelhouse.