Horror has always been a fundamental part of human entertainment. Whether out of mere morbidity, social criticism, or learning, the sensation caused by this genre can mark us for life. At the cinematic level, horror films are the most produced per year. And we can enjoy at least one new title per month on the billboard because the public simply does not get tired.
Like any specialized genre, horror has subgenres that allow us to identify (if we are spectators). And exploit elements that give each one its particularities, its limitations, and, of course, its root defects. Although many films are focused on the more realistic fear of the serial killer. People seem to enjoy the supernatural much more. So it is closer to horror and all the entities that it can bring with it such as ghosts, mythical animals, witches, etc. Of course, the needs of the public are never exhausted, and scaring them is increasingly difficult. Just in this attempt to highlight the greatest fear. The writer HP Lovecraft dedicated his work to the guidelines of cosmic horror.
Cosmic horror is one that leads to madness. Because the man who perceives it simply and simply is unable to understand it. Lovecraft filled his stories with the so-called primal gods, those who upon awakening would subdue the human race, but not out of going against it or out of a desire for power, rather because in every way they are superior to us and our life, and our place. in the universe, it is insignificant. This rather depressing idea is a source of much inspiration in the cinema, from the titles that are directly based on Lovecraft to those proposals that only take his universe to develop things that are as or darker.
In fact, Lovecraft fans find it very difficult to find good adaptations of the writer, and they are right. The tapes that are based on his work tend to go to extremes, or philosophy without plot or monstrosities without depth. For this reason, many have chosen to take one of many elements to develop their own works, which go far beyond the author.
Ridley Scott does not let his first treatment of cosmic horror die. However, his attempts to put more philosophical load on his premises. As in Prometheus – 73%, failed with audiences who basically want to see the same movie over and over again: Alien – The Eighth Passenger – 97%. The 1979 film starring Sigourney WeaverIt shows us what happens when a strange creature manages to get into a spaceship. And how the crew is reduced and unable to cope. While it is important to note that not all films that take place in space or that have aliens as villains can be considered cosmic horror, this is a good example because of the way it shows the universal hierarchy. Humans present themselves as masters of their decisions and in control of their world. But in reality, there are deadly creatures that are practically invincible. As well as androids that seem human and that serve heinous capitalism that can do without its workers.
Based on the Lovecraft tale of the same name, this new adaptation attempt directed by Richard Stanley managed to exploit the most striking part of the original story. Color Out of Space -86% tells how an entire family is affected by the fall of a strange meteorite in their backyard. The peculiar object seems to cause temporary and genetic anomalies that can only end in insanity. The effective part is the use of special effects to represent the happy color and its effects. As well as the performance of Nicolas Cage, who finds here his perfect element to stand out in the madness of his character that goes from pathetic to dangerous in a few minutes.
Although technically based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer, Alex Garland chose to follow his instincts about cosmic horror rather than the social and political criticism of the original literary trilogy. Annihilation is similar to Color Out of Space but on a larger scale. As once again a meteorite begins to affect the nature around it and is expanding. The difference here is that the whole issue, from the beginning, is philosophical in nature, where the protagonist played by Natalie Portman wonders why we act as we act, why our decisions are usually self-destructive and what is our place in the universe.
While this Frank Darabont directed film is based on a short novel by Stephen King. It is clear that the author himself had thought of cosmic horror while writing it. The fog -73% tells us how a group of people lock themselves in a supermarket after a strange fog covers their entire town and brings with it creatures whose nature is bloody. While we do not see the same Lovecraft creations, there is an obvious visual influence. In addition, the end of the film gets fully into the most nihilistic aspects of this subgenre. And far exceeds the end of the book that leaves things in uncertainty.
The Void – 73% is an independent-cut cosmic horror film directed by Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski that found its place among fans of the subgenre and quickly established itself as a cult one. Directors return to Lovecraft’s universe, their monsters, and their deviant religious cults. And create something of their own that serves as a clear tribute, but also as a novelty. The film tells us how a group of people ends up locked in a hospital that seems to be the headquarters of a strange cult that prays to interdimensional gods. Although priority is given to the bloody part and body deformations, leaving aside the philosophical part that is implicit in the subgenre, its approach is so good that it is considered one of the best works on Lovecraft that is not directly based on any of his stories.
John Carpenter had already presented us with an approach to the world of cosmic horror with his suffocating The Thing of Another World – 80%, but In the Mouth of Terror -51% is an explosive compilation of what the subgenre means and provokes. Sam Neill plays a detective who must figure out the whereabouts of a horror writer whose stories affect readers in very strange ways. Of course, the investigation will take eerie ramifications that will show just how weak human sanity is. This title is a great example of cosmic horror in terms of how it ties in with the idea that knowledge can easily drive you mad, and how it is inevitable for humans to keep looking for answers even if they put their very existence at risk.
Event Horizon – 24% was released in 1997 to terrible reviews. But the years have proved the most loyal fans, who always considered it a cult story. Starring Sam Neill and Laurence Fishburne, the film tells us what happens when a space crew embarks on a search. And rescue mission after a ship that disappeared into a black hole returns under strange circumstances. Although it is not an adaptation and we do not see any primal god. This story reaches cosmic horror in its third act thanks to the philosophical. And nihilistic interventions of the characters and, of course. The madness created by the null understanding of our reason to exist and the possibilities of interdimensional life.