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25 Aug 2020

Home Video Review: The First Two Episodes of HBO's 'Lovecraft Country' Are Crazy Good—Literally

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Jonathan Majors and Courtney B. Vance in Lovecraft Country. Jonathan Majors and Courtney B. Vance in Lovecraft Country.

I’m two episodes into HBO’s Lovecraft Country, and I’m not entirely sure what’s going on yet with this nutty show—but I sure do like it.

From the creative minds of Misha Green and Jordan Peele comes this twisty, screwy and scary series that mixes 1950s racism in America with H.P. Lovecraft-style horror. Atticus (Jonathan Majors), a Black veteran returning from war, goes on a search for his missing father with his uncle (Courtney B. Vance) and childhood friend (Jurnee Smollett, my new favorite actress).

Their search leads them to Lovecraft Country, a Southern region rife with racism (as was H.P. Lovecraft himself) and, as you find out at the end of Episode 1, crazy beasts right out of a Lovecraft story. It’s an insane mix; one moment, people are dancing to the blues in a crowded Southern street. In the next, they are fighting crazed vampire-like monsters in a secluded cabin.

Again, I’m only two episodes in (because only two have been released as of this writing), so this could all go downhill from here, but I don’t think it will. The show has that “message with the madness” vibe that Peele provided with Get Out. It also looks terrific, from its period settings to its excellent monster effects.

The show is very well acted, with Majors, Smollett and Vance providing excellent leads, along with some other stars I won’t reveal here.

This show is airing on both HBO and its new streaming service, HBO Max, which is proving to be a sweet venture. I’ll take this moment to also endorse the HBO Max-exclusive film An American Pickle, starring two Seth Rogens. HBO Max is proving to be worth the money.

Lovecraft Country is currently airing Sundays on HBO and streaming on HBO Max.

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