A few days ago, a new drama horror television series premiered on HBO. It has all the right elements to get into a gloomy atmosphere of the 50s. The series is inspired on famous horror writer H. P. Lovecraft.
The series titled “Lovecraft Country”, was developed by Misha Green (“Sons of Anarchy”). It counted with Jordan Peele (“Get Out”) and J.J Abrams (“Lost”) as the producers and it’s based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Matt Ruff.
The story is about a young black man named Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) who travels with his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) and childhood friend Letitia “Leti” Lewis (Jurnee Smollett) across the segregated 1950s United States in search of his missing father Montrose (Michael K. Williams), who has gone missing. They go looking for him while also learning of dark secrets plaguing a whole town, in which famous writer Lovecraft supposedly based the location of many of his fictional tales.
It may only debuted, but the 10-episode series is already a huge success. The audience’s response was favorable. Just in Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 97% based on 58 reviews and 81% in average audience score.
In addition, it became a topic of conversation on social media due to the fiction being mixed with real and important topics that we still live up until today. Audience can see through the racism combined with the fantastical creatures and monsters.
Critics have also praised the production as impressive thanks to the contrast between the monsters, the fictional terror and also the constant fear from daily life. It’s expected that the next episodes can bring into even more audience.
Like many other HBO series, “Lovecraft Country” premieres one episode a week, lengthening the mystery and tension but hooking horror fans since the beginning and leaving them wanting for more.
The legacy: weird fiction
Not many may be familiar to H. P. Lovecraft’s works, but he transformed horror genre at his time and managed to mark popular culture, cinema, literature and many other things. So it is logical that a team led by Peele, Green and Abrams, ended up giving HBO a great work of success.
While Lovecraft left a legacy and was the pioneer for the “weird fiction”(which either avoids or reinterprets ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and other traditional antagonists of supernatural horror fiction), his racist, xenophobic and antisemitic views cannot be denied.
That’s why that on the series, the fantasy and horror are well-played, but there’s also a better understanding of Lovecraft’s works and even further than that.
So all the elements are already in place to enjoy “Lovecraft Country” through HBO, so we must not lose sight of this series that promises to be, as impressive to read between the lines, as visually surprising.