BY CHRIS HAMMOND
Starring: Heather Graham, Judah Lewis, Barbara Crampton
Directed by: Joe Lynch
Written by: Dennis Paoli, H.P Lovecraft (short story The Thing on the Doorstep)
RLJE FILMS, SHUDDER
H.P Lovecraft has a vast universe of stories that deal with all things dark and mystic. SUITABLE FLESH is based off the short story “The Thing on the Doorstep” from 1933. Dennis Paoli expands the screenplay for the film into a more modern take on dark and supernatural storytelling. Joe Lynch channels the late iconic director Stuart Gordon, while also adding his own take on this Lovecraftian myth. Barbera Crampton and Brian Yuzna, (both are no stranger to H.P Lovecraft or Stuart Gordon) act as producers on the film.
Dr. Elizabeth Derby (Heather Graham) is a psychiatrist who one day meets a young man Asa Waite (Judah Lewis) in a session. The man suffers from extreme personality disorder (or it seems he does). Is it Asa’s epileptic seizures bringing on the personality disorders or something more sinister. Waite proclaims that something has possessed his father Ephraim (Bruce Davison). He fears that he’s next, Derby becomes obsessed with trying to untangle the young man’s health issues. This leads to a dark path of infidelity and unexplained occurrences.
Lynch expands on the universe of H.P Lovecraft by adding humour and sex, something that director Stuart Gordon did to perfection with other Lovecraft treatments (The Re-animator, From Beyond). Fans of the aforementioned films will give the stamp of approval to Lynch’s vision. He not only resurrects the feel of Gordon’s films, but also throws a basket of Lovecraft-themed Easter eggs visually at the viewers. There’s plenty of gore, although Lynch opts for a more psychological thriller, There were hopes though that we would get more creatures, especially with Paoli onboard as screenwriter.
Barbera Crampton at the top of her game as Elizabeth’s best-friend and colleague Daniella Upton. She is strong, devoted and a caring friend to Elizabeth and husband Edward (Johnathon Schaech). Graham is charismatic as Elizabeth Derby, She loves her husband, cares for her patients and things turn when she meets Asa Waite. She becomes enthralled with the younger man and even falls under the spell of seduction. The work that both Graham and Lewis do in the film is outstanding. They mind-meld with each other and use that to their advantage in the film.
SUITABLE FLESH is a fun throwback to classic horror films of the mid-eighties and early nineties. The world which is created is believable and the performances by each cast member is on point. This is a “Suitable” Lovecratian horror yarn that draws the audience in and doesn’t spit them out at the end credits, oh what a ride!
IN THEATERS AND EVERYWHERE YOU RENT MOVIES
October 27, 2023