This is it, the holy grail of Lovecraftian adaptations, a good film. The Shunned House is an Italian film that is actually comprised of three stories; The Music of Eric Zann, Dreams in the Witch House, and The Shunned House. Unlike other anthology films, The Shunned House does not tell the stories one at a time, instead allowing them all to unfold together with the house as a major character in its own right. While this can make things a bit confusing from time to time, overall the tactic works quite well.
Another plus is that the film is visually stunning, capturing mood and evoking that darkness that Lovecraft is so famed for. Certainly these are not literal
translations of Lovecraft's stories to film, but the additions made are eerie and continue to call on the darkness that the filmmaker has conjured forth.
Yes, there are things that seem a bit out of place, and there is one scene in particular that seems to have been heavily influenced by The Blair Witch Project, but none of this matters. This is a great film. My only concerns are raised by a few technical hiccups in the DVD. As mine was new and fresh out of the wrap I can not help but wonder if these imperfections are found in all copies of the film, or merely mine. In any case they were easy to overlook and caused no severe problems.
Another odd note is that the DVD does not have scene selection from the menu, though it does contain a trailer for The Shunned House (and about a dozen other low budget, crappy, indie films that are very forgettable).
review © Bob Brinkman 2004