HBO’s new series Lovecraft Country takes on the popular genre of horror as it blends with a bold lesson in history as we dive into Jim Crow’s America. The premium cabler’s latest show mixes sci-fi, pulp fiction, adventure, and the supernatural to tell a story about the monsters that are both real and surreal.
The theme that runs throughout the series is racism as America’s history with race is just as horrific as the monsters that dwell in the story. Based on Matt Ruff’s best selling novel, Lovecraft Country is set in the mid-1950s following the story of Korean war veteran Atticus (Jonathan Majors) who returns home in order to search for his missing father Montrose (Michael Kenneth Willians). Joining the young fantasy fiction lover is his childhood friend Leti (Jurnee Smollett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance). In this trip they all partake through the depths of Ardham, Massachusetts, this trio face all kinds of danger that are both from the racist white folks to the monsters that lurk in the night.
Atticus, Leti, and Uncle George find themselves in a mysterious mansion that belongs to a magical secret order known as the Sons of Adam. They are basically what the KKK would be if they knew magic existed. We learn from the series that Atticus has a deep connection with this group who study the power of the Almighty’s creations, not just humankind. The series also has our three characters fighting to survive against narcissistic racists as well as the beasts that seem to have popped out of H.P. Lovecraft’s closet.
Even when things get crazy, the cast puts on some amazing performances to keep us entertained. Majors comes off as the hero that we are all rooting for as his character Atticus discovers his heritage while also running away from his own past. Smollett is marvelous to watch as Leti, a young independent woman who’s fearless attitude overcomes her flaws as she dashes into danger. These two young talents make the 50s look so stylish and fashionable with the show’s impeccable costume design.
Written and developed by Misha Green, the series gives viewers a look at racism at its height in the Midwest. Its not easy for our characters to get through small towns without getting refused by locals to serve them and authorities threatening their lives. Just like the classic horror tropes, we see some bizarre creatures coming out at night, showing us that this isn’t something we see in America every day. Green mixes the lore of Lovecraft with mystery and a touch of romance to come with it. The show’s directors manage to keep things creepy as we see some connections between racism and the terrifying monsters that lurk in the shadows.
The special effects in Lovecraft Country look amazing with its visuals coming straight out of big screen blockbusters. The VFX makes the show pop and unique with its style of mixing a period piece with fantasy elements. The opening scene opens up a sci-fi epic as it comes off the pages of Atticus’ favorite book. It may be dazzling to see, but it often can feel disoriented at times. However, it doesn’t take away just how off the rails the show can be as we are all in for one crazy ride.
This review was written by Mufsin Mahbub, TANTV contributor covering global entertainment.