Below are samples of what some critics had to say about the film.
[The Whisperer in Darkness] it’s the most compelling proof to date that there is a way to bring H.P. Lovecraft to cinematic life. Whisperer pretends to be an artifact of the 1950s sci-fi/horror boom—it’s black and white, melodramatic, and the pacing is more of a long, slow burn than anything you’ve seen in the past year at the multiplex. But, man does it pay off; the needle on the creep-meter goes through the roof at certain climactic moments. It’s great fun.
Ultimately, however, Branney nails the spirit of Lovecraft. Through voice-over narratives and frightened faces, “The Whisperer in Darkness” conveys a sense of human sanity being unraveled by too much forbidden fruit. By film’s end, Foyer has the Thousand Yard Stare down to a science. His once-doubting Wilmarth has picked from the Tree of Knowledge, and become a reluctant believer.
You are about to encounter what very well may be the single most successful H.P. Lovecraft adaptation ever to lick fear across a screen. Shot with an aesthetic, production design and performance style angled to emulate the feel of a '30s/'40s Universal horror film - without falling into camp - WHISPERER arrives like shadows out of time, a discovered relic from another dimension. A genuinely scary film and a hellishly great time.
Those looking for Lovecraft done right should look no further than Sean Branney’s THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS. I’ve read the story quite a few times, and though this story of otherworldly portals and demon bugs from other dimensions is not the most literal of Lovecraft’s work, I still don’t think that it’s been adapted perfectly. Until now. The filmmakers seem to not only possess the uncanny ability to translate Lovecraft’s words and themes with ease, but they also punch up the story with modern effects while giving it a timeless quality of the matinee serials. Though this film is heavy on the talk, the strong performances and full embrace of the monster movies of the fifties make every second of this film intriguing and unblinkable. Filmed in stark blacks, faded whites, and amorphous greys, THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS is a monster movie for folks who miss going to monster movie matinees. Branney adapts this tale of science proved wrong sharply with quick line exchanges and every eerie trick in the book made to amp up the old timey thrills.
THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS is the best adaptation that I have ever seen of an H.P. Lovecraft tale! The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society has put together a very worthy 2-Disc Special Edition that covers all the bases, and then some. Disc 1 is where you’ll find the movie, Chapters selection, and a plethora of Subtitles to choose from (Catalan, Croatian Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Romanian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (PT), Portuguese (BR), Swedish, Euseka, Finish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Russian and Turkish). Disc 2 is comprised of the “Making-Of” Featurettes, Extended/Deleted Scenes and Trailers; all of which can be accessed on the main menu.
The Whisperer in Darkness is a hell of a fine film, one of the best adaptations of a Lovecraft story ever made, and it’s far superior to the vast majority of bigger-budgeted films that have “H.P. Lovecraft’s” before their titles. Whisperer is faithful to a fault to the source material. What changes it does make are very welcome and actually enhance the story, as opposed to just padding things out, like so many other movies based on Lovecraft’s short stories do. It is an obvious labour of love and, when movie makers care this much, it shows in every frame of the film. If you’re a fan of H.P. Lovecraft, then this is mandatory viewing. If you’ve never read anything by HPL and always wanted to see what all the hoopla was about, this is a great place to start to get a handle on his unique and genre-changing brand of horror.