This week, Guillermo del Toro’s gothic-horror-romance Crimson Peak will haunt movie theaters across the land. It joins the unique crowd of del Toro projects that makes it to the screen instead of vanishing into development oblivion. Del Toro is always cooking something up, and his name is frequently being thrown around for various films that never quite materialize: he’s been working on-again/off-again on a Haunted Mansion film; then there’s the DC Comics adaptation Justice League Dark. Pacific Rim 2 keeps jumping back and forth between being in development and being put on hold. The filmmaker was even going to direct the first of The Hobbit films before things changed, and we ended up with a bloated trilogy filled with nonsense. But the holy grail of unmade Guillermo del Toro films is his adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness.
H.P. Lovecraft doesn’t translate to film very well. Many have tried, few have succeed. Lovecraft’s stories are mood-driven, using his dense antiquarian writing style to tell tales that say so much while unfolding so little in terms of action. This doesn’t exactly lend itself to a cinematic adaptation. Yet several films have found a way to tackle Lovecraft without actually adapting Lovecraft. The following films pay tribute to Lovecraft without actually adapting any of his stories.