Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s story ‘The Case of Charles Dexter Ward’, The Resurrected is one of the few successful portrayals of the gifted storyteller’s works to film (some others being Re-Animator, From Beyond, and Dagon). For those who haven’t read the story or seen the film, a simple synopsis would be that it’s the story of a man, Charles Ward, who drives himself mad in a study of his ancestor’s occult practices. Although it is not really a direct story-to-screen transfer, it is still one of the better adaptations I’ve seen.
A majority of complaints I read about this film state that it’s too slow and there isn’t enough action/gore/visual effects. I disagree. Yes it is slow with an emphasis on story development, but after all it is an interpretation of a Lovecraft story. So to those opinions my only comment is this: Lovecraft wrote horror stories and established mythos, he didn’t write the script to Die Hard with Zombies (though I think Bruce Willis should be cast for that sequel next). Now conversely I’ll say that I’ve also read reviews that proclaim this ‘the best Lovecraft-based film’. I also disagree with that statement, but to each his own (you won’t get this geek over his love-affair with Re-Animator anytime soon). However, The Resurrected does a superior job at translating Lovecraft to film.
Chris Sarandon presents a satisfactory performance as both Charles Dexter Ward and his ancestor, Joseph Curwin. And for my fellow gorehounds, you won’t be displeased with those elements in this film. Where the gore is present, it is plentiful. I will also take a stop at my usual effects analysis: Dan O’Bannon utilizes superior creature design, real creature design, and no digital graphics. So all-in-all I highly recommend this film to general horror fans and Lovecraft cultists alike.