Short Film: H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Hound”

Here’s a short (5-minute) adaptation of Lovecraft’s short story “The Hound,” rendered with CG animation and presented in a really intriguing style. I wouldn’t have expected it to “work” for me, but by Azathoth, it does. The gloomy and intriguing visual conception and the lush sound design all add up to a very effective presentation of Lovecraft’s tale of two men who, craving a sublime experience of darkness and decadence, and having exhausted the available literary and artistic sources for such things, turn to grave-robbing. In short order, they call down a hideous fate upon themselves when they inadvertently wake up an ancient supernatural presence.

The predatory excursions on which we collected our unmentionable treasures were always artistically memorable events. We were no vulgar ghouls, but worked only under certain conditions of mood, landscape, environment, weather, season, and moonlight. These pastimes were to us the most exquisite form of aesthetic expression, and we gave their details a fastidious technical care. An inappropriate hour, a jarring lighting effect, or a clumsy manipulation of the damp sod, would almost totally destroy for us that ecstatic titillation which followed the exhumation of some ominous, grinning secret of the earth.

. . . After that we lived in growing horror and fascination. Mostly we held to the theory that we were jointly going mad from our life of unnatural excitements, but sometimes it pleased us more to dramatise ourselves as the victims of some creeping and appalling doom. Bizarre manifestations were now too frequent to count. Our lonely house was seemingly alive with the presence of some malign being whose nature we could not guess, and every night that daemoniac baying rolled over the windswept moor, always louder and louder.

H. P. Lovecraft, “The Hound” (1924)

About Matt Cardin

Teeming Brain founder and editor Matt Cardin is the author of DARK AWAKENINGS, DIVINATIONS OF THE DEEP, A COURSE IN DEMONIC CREATIVITY: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO THE INNER GENIUS, and the forthcoming TO ROUSE LEVIATHAN. He is also the editor of BORN TO FEAR: INTERVIEWS WITH THOMAS LIGOTTI and the academic encyclopedias MUMMIES AROUND THE WORLD and GHOSTS, SPIRITS, AND PSYCHICS: THE PARANORMAL FROM ALCHEMY TO ZOMBIES.

Posted on June 11, 2014, in Arts & Entertainment and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. James Goho has a superb essay in LOVECRAFT ANNUAL No. 2, “The Sickness unto Death in H. P. Lovecraft’s ‘The Hound’,” that I found entirely captivating. I am one of ye few who do not consider “The Hound” a self-parody in which Lovecraft mocks the excesses of his style. HPL seemed, years after writing the story, chagrined at what he considered its failure as a work of art, and had he meant it to be a parody I doubt he would then have been upset by what he considered the failure of its language. The story may, in places, mock the Decadent school in fiction. As a work of Gothic phantasy, the story is entirely effective, and the language portrays the fevered psyche of the narrator. “The Hound” blends the border between reality and dream, and this is a facet that it shares with “The Outsider,” “The Music of Erich Zann,” and other early stories. Atmosphere is all-important, and the mood thus evoked is delicious. One quality that it shares with dreaming is the nonsense evident in its story-line–one cannot say for certain what, exactly, is going on, what the actual physical threat is, who or what is uttering the baleful baying. I love “The Hound,” and have written a direct sequel to it.

  1. Pingback: Today's Lovecraft links (June 22, 2014) | The Scrawl of Cthulhu

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