Fear Eats the Soul
by Camillo De Marco
27/10/2005 - Federico Greco’s name is connected primarily to one title: Stanley and Us, a documentary on Stanley Kubrick that he made in 1999 with Mauro Di Flaviano. But Greco is also, and above all, a journalist who "writes" with his camera, as can be seen by the documentary on the great American master as well as in Greco’s short films, his television programs and his recent documentary, made with Mazzino Montinari, Fuori fuoco - Cinema, ribelli e rivoluzionari, a documentary/reflection on the recent history of Italian terrorism seen through its protagonists and its films. With H. P. Lovecraft - The Terror Within he wanted to tackle, for the first time, the "docufiction" : "H. P. Lovecraft - The Terror Within started out as a documentary of mine on a found manuscript dating back to 1926," said Greco. "The documentary was screened at the Venice film Festival and then broadcast on TV by Studio Universal. We thought it deserved a promotion, its own cinematic dignity."
The press has already called the film the Italian Blair Witch Project. I imagine you don’t like this label.
There are actually a lot of differences. The Blair Witch Project started out as a small project and became a studio success. The Blair Witch Project was a fake documentary, our film began as specialized and impassioned research on H. P. Lovecraft, the father of the entire modern horror genre, precursor to Stephen King and all horror films. We wanted to recreate the atmosphere of his stories. In other words, I consider it a film à la Lovecraft more than a film on Lovecraft.
In fact, there are no "monsters", like in a typical film of this genre. The monstrosity is only "evoked."
Lovecraft’s monsters are metaphorica... His descriptions are so complex that they’re impossible to reproduce. A few have tried, unsuccessfully, to design these monsters. Lovecraft’s literature was high literature. We sought to aspire to that level.
There is certainly a level of interpretation that transcends the atmospheres of the horror films we’re used to seeing.
There is something 'beyond' man, but it’s best not to discover it. That is one of Lovecraft’s classical mechanisms. His stories all begin with an inheritance, a manuscript or a statuette that force the protagonist to investigate something that would be better left unexposed, because beyond the "Veil of Maya" of reality there exists something that jeopardizes our mental health.