The Dunwich Horror is based on a short story written by H.P. Lovecraft, a horror writer who was active in the early 20th century. His stories tended to be about alien monster gods and how they screw with humanity.
The Dunwich Horror kicks off with a great animated introduction and a catchy theme song.
Dean Stockwell stars as Wilbur Whately, weirdo white guy with an afro who, like most occultists, is just in it for the girls. Wilbur desperately wants to borrow Dr. Armitage's copy of a famous occult book for his nefarious purposes. At first he tries charm. That doesn't work, so then he has to get his hands dirty. As opposed to the Short Story Wilbur (who is killed humiliatingly by a mere dog), Movie Wilbur kills a security guard by impaling him on a spear! AWESOME. Movie Wilbur is hardcore.
I prefer this character as he is written in the movie over the short story version. In the short story Wilbur is a weird looking giant genius kid that no one takes seriously. That's fine, but this Wilbur is awesome. He's like Dracula- menacing and charming.
Let's draw up a little comparative chart to help clear up any doubts about how great Movie Wilbur is:
Clearly, Movie Wilbur comes out on top. 'NUFF SAID.
Everyone else in the movie is pretty good, I guess. Compared to Dean Stockwell's Wilbur Whately they all come up short, but this is understandable.
The special effects are awesome. I don't want to ruin anything, but let's just say that the whole monster thing was handled very well considering the budget and leave it at that. Most of the other special effects are weird psychedelic things and camera filters, which work well.
I think this movie could have been better though. It was a great idea to make Wilbur a charming and effective nemesis. But I would have liked if they had taken the ending from the short story and just attached it to the ending of the movie. This is all they had to do and it would have been perfect!
I seriously recommend this movie to absolutely everyone in the world. Every time I watch it I like it even more.