Written by: Matt Molgaard
When a man treks into a dark, mysterious village infamous for its terrifying rumors and reports of missing persons, he learns that sometimes truths are far more petrifying than myth. In fact, sometimes truths open doors to completely other worlds. Worlds where men become fish-like creatures, and fish-like creatures yearn for human sacrifices, storming the beach late at night when refused their carnal request. Such is the case in H.P. Lovecraft’s amazingly creative tale of terror in the sea and a village with a menacing side that no reasonable man could ever conceive.
There’s a whole lot more to the story, but this one runs under 100 pages in length and is far best enjoyed reading rather than hearing about. Understand – truly – that it’s a gripping story, clever and unique. What few human characters featured are memorable if not likeable thanks to a thorough showcase of their personalities from Lovecraft. The conflict initially seems grotesque, but as Lovecraft’s narrative marches into deeper waters (had to do it), it becomes outright terrifying; one man’s race for survival in territory overrun by the unfathomable… The story’s buildup is just perfectly placed, and this legendary author, who may be the most influential in history, really succeeds in keeping the reader glued to the page. We want to know what happens next. What horrors await this curious traveler? Exactly what is it that lives in Innsmouth? Will the story’s protagonist survive the ordeal? Is this ordeal even real?
As is the case with most of Lovecraft’s work, this one is loaded with eerie atmosphere and terrifying descriptive work. We’re really thrown into this desolate yet infinitely threatening surrounding, and we feel just about as unnerved as the tale’s hero. As much as we’re loving this concept, its effective frightfulness and H.P.’s gorgeous delivery, we want out. ASAP. At times, the tension is just too thick to tolerate.
An excellent piece of fiction that stands as one of the scariest and most amazingly assembled efforts in history, The Shadows Over Innsmouth cannot be missed. The Call of Cthulhu may typically steal the vote for best Lovecraft tale, but for my money, The Shadow Over Innsmouth is every bit as enjoyable, if not more.