HBO’s brand-new horror drama Lovecraft Country just dropped on Showmax

Based on the 2017 World Fantasy Award-nominated cult novel by Matt Ruff, Lovecraft Country is exec produced by Oscar winner Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) and Emmy winner JJ Abrams (Star Wars, Super 8), as well as Emmy nominee Bill Carraro (American History X, Blade Runner 2049). Misha Green (Underground, named Best New Cable/New Media Show of 2016 by the African-American Film Critics Association) is the showrunner and co-creator. 

NPR calls Lovecraft Country “a masterpiece.” Time Magazine calls it “a stunning dissection of America’s racist history – and an absolutely wild ride … smart, gripping and wonderfully wild.” And Rolling Stone hails it as “a mind-bending, genre-blending tour de force… Couldn’t possibly feel timelier.” 

Lovecraft Country has an 89% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with much of the praise going to the formidable cast, which also includes Teen Choice nominee Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Birds of Prey, Friday Night Lights) as Letitia, Golden Globe nominee Courtney B Vance (The People Vs OJ Simpson, Law & Order) as George, and Emmy nominee Michael Kenneth Williams (When They See Us, The Night Of, The Wire) as Atticus’ father, Montrose.  

The Hollywood Reporter calls Jurnee’s performance, “a fierce turn in which her every bit of actorly business — whether driving a car, sprinting away from ghouls or wielding a baseball bat … feels instantly iconic. You can’t take your eyes off her…  It’s to everybody else’s credit that Smollett doesn’t knock them off the screen entirely but Majors is a steady, slow-burning leading man and Vance and Williams add embraceable decency and fiery torment respectively.”  

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Also look out for BAFTA winner Wunmi Mosaku (Luther, The End of the F*ing World, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road, The Neon Demon), Emmy and Critics Choice nominee Aunjanue Ellis (When They See Us, The Help, The Book of Negroes), and Zimbabwean-South African actress Sibongile Mlambo (Lost in Space, Donna in Siren – the first Black mermaid on mainstream TV). 

Lovecraft Country is a very unusual tale. I don’t think television has seen anything like this before,” says Courtney. “In our world, there’s monsters – be they literal or figurative monsters. It’s very interesting and disheartening: some of the same issues that we’re dealing with in the fifties, we’re living them today. But we need each other in this world and that’s what our journey here will hopefully show to audiences.”

“It really blows my mind, the ingenuity that’s gone on into creating Lovecraft Country,” says Aunjanue. “You become a child again, because it is fantastical.” At the same time, she says, “It makes you question things that the world wants to turn a blind eye to. It’s a lesson in empathy.”

Perhaps the best thing about Lovecraft Country though, is that it’s a blast. “I think people will take away a sense of excitement and possibility,” says Wunmi. “It feels rebellious. Minds may be blown a little bit… maybe a lot.”

As Newsday put it, “To call Lovecraft Country ‘wildly original’ seems almost a quaint understatement. But it is wild. And original. Little doubt about that.”

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Watch the trailer: https://youtu.be/EPERMUgPyXU

Watch eps 1-4 of Lovecraft Country on Showmax now, with episodes 5-8 coming 6 October and episodes 9-10 coming 20 October 2020, just after the US finale. 

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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