It’s usually not a good sign when a film has more than one title, so the fact that H.P. Lovecraft’s Monster Portal has been known simply as Monster Portal, as well as The Offering and Paranormal Cemetery, was a bit troubling. Being a Scott Jeffrey (Beneath the Surface, It Came from Below) production It was already something of a crapshoot whether or not it would be any good so I approached it with fairly low expectations.
Director Matthew B.C. (Medusa) wrote the script from a story by Jeffrey and Mario von Czapiewski (Rootwood, Cannibal Diner) and he certainly gets things off to a good enough start. Peter (Richard Harfst, The Ghosts of Borley Rectory, Rise of the Mummy) records a message to his estranged daughter Celine (Sian Altman, The Curse of Humpty Dumpty, T h e m) before allowing himself to be sacrificed to a giant creature from another dimension.
This means that she needs to go to his estate to take care of his things. So along with her boyfriend Rich (Louis James, D Is for Detroit, Help) and their friend Nick (George Nettleton, Blood Myth, Looks Can Kill) and his new girlfriend April (Sarah Alexandra Marks, Exorcist Vengeance, Spider in the Attic) she reluctantly makes the journey.
After they’re greeted by the eccentric housekeeper Edda (Judy Tcherniak, The Surgeon, Senses) and a very dead rabbit, H.P. Lovecraft’s Monster Portal moves into familiar territory. There’s a painting of a very familiar-looking creature in one of the house’s rooms. Edda rambles on about the “Old Gods”. And there are dead rabbits all over the grounds.
And, as with many of Jeffrey’s recent films, there is a fair amount of personal drama as well. Celine is dealing with the death of her father whom she apparently still loved despite their estrangement. And there are issues between Nick and April as well. Thankfully Monster Portal remembers that it’s a horror movie first and doesn’t let those elements take over the film, as has happened more than once.
Being a Scott Jeffrey film H.P. Lovecraft’s Monster Portal didn’t have the kind of budget that would let us see much in the way of giant unspeakable abominations. But it does manage to work in more creature footage than I expected and with some surprisingly good CGI too. The scenes are mostly short, but they are scattered through the film rather than just a bit at the beginning and end.
Also surprising for a film from Jagged Edge Productions, H.P. Lovecraft’s Monster Portal has some practical gore and a bit of nudity as well. It’s as if it’s finally sunk into Jeffrey’s head that he needs to give viewers more than just some quick glimpses of someone in a monster suit and teasing shower scenes to keep viewers coming back for more of his seemingly endless stream of films.
This is the second film I’ve seen by director Matthew B.C. and both of them have been solid genre entries. He smartly keeps Monster Portal’s script short and to the point with something happening every few minutes to keep it interesting. He’s probably the most talented filmmaker working for Jeffrey and, while his upcoming film Blood in the Water doesn’t sound overly interesting, I hope more productions are sent his way.
H.P. Lovecraft’s Monster Portal is an enjoyable film that, while it’s no classic, is as entertaining as recent higher profile Lovecraftian fare such as Offseason. ITN has made H.P. Lovecraft’s Monster Portal available on various Digital platforms including free with ads on Tubi, where I saw it. It’s also available free on YouTube but in an edited version. If you’re looking for more monster mayhem, you can check with FilmTagger.