Dagon (2001) – Film


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After a boating accident off the coast of Spain, Paul and Barbara go ashore to the decrepit village of Imboca for help.  It doesn’t take them long to realize that there is something very strange and dangerous about the  inhabitants of Imboca. 

This Stuart Gordon and Denis Paoli adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story is beautifully done.  From the dark coastal town in which the movie was filmed to the make-up and costuming, the haunting music, to the practical and special effects, this is likely the best of the Lovecraft films that has been made to date.

Ezra Godden plays Paul, a fairly capable young man plagued by nightmares, who has, with the help of girlfriend, Barbara and her friends who financially backed Paul’s idea, become very rich.  Unfortunately, the anxiety of the new wealth along with strange recurring nightmares of a haunting, horribly beautiful half-woman, half-sea creature,  haven’t made Paul very happy.

The entire story, especially the embedded tale of how the cult of Dagon came to Imboca, as told by Francisco Rabal, as Ezequiel, a man traumatized as a child and driven to drink and the brink of sanity, is enthralling.   Each new horror, shown or implied, draws the viewer deeper in.  There are a few points of hum0r (or cheesy moments, if you prefer) and nods (“I’ve got to get a bigger cell phone”)  to break up the overall seriousness of the movie.

The little bit of CGI, mostly at the end of the film, isn’t great, but I’ve seen worse on big budget flicks.

I gave this 4 1/2 cups of coffee (preferably Irish Coffee).

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