H.P. Lovecraft’s Cool Air

They have something to do with a 5,000-year-old Egyptian relic called the Horns of Werethekau and one Dr. Torres who has the power to resurrect the dead, but you’re likely to have forgotten that when the opening credits finally finish up four minutes later. And you’re equally likely to forget the entire movie 82 minutes after that, at its merciful end.  

Under the radar since his role on TV’s short-lived cult hit Space: Above and Beyond in the mid-1990s, Morgan Weisser plays a screenwriter who moves into a room in an isolated “mansion” so he can get some work done without distractions. Too bad, because he suffers a stroke and the doctor who lives in the room above (Crystal Laws Green, A Family Thing) fixes him all up, yet harbors mysterious powers that aren’t so mysterious since the aforementioned title cards ruin any suspense the story may have.

Let me rephrase: Lovecraft’s original short story, written nearly nine decades ago, has it. Pyun's adaptation does not.

While it’s admirable that tribute is paid to the source material by sticking with some of Lovecraft’s words, they simply don’t fit these contemporary times, as Weisser’s narration makes painfully clear. Instead of “meals,” he says, “squares”; instead of “unusual,” he says, “queer.”

Instead of “autistic hottie,” he says ... well, that means that, and as portrayed by Jenny Dare Paulin (daughter of Scott Paulin, who was Pyun’s Red Skull in Cap), it’s one of the most embarrassing performances you’re apt to witness. At least she tries.

Once the full-screen word animations arrive, you won’t be asking, “What the hell?,” but, “Why am I still watching?” —Rod Lott

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