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Should I Watch Lovecraft Country? A Review For Those Who Hate Horror

should i watch lovecraft country review
L-R: Jonathan Majors, Courtney B. Vance - Photography by Elizabeth Morris/HBO

If You Hate Horror Movies, This Lovecraft Country Review Is For You

When I first found out about Lovecraft Country, I named it as one of the top shows to watch in August, but had no clue if I’d even like the new HBO series, created by Misha Green (who also created Underground).

If you’re an avid reader of Popcorn and Tequila, then you know I absolutely hate horror flicks. I rarely ever cover the genre, because I honestly can’t stomach it.

I’m jumpy, emotional, and I scare easily.

It took a lot of guts for me to go see Jordan Peele’s US movie, and even Lena Waithe’s Queen and Slim, which is currently out on HBO Max right now, so go watch that if you haven’t already.

But when the news broke about Lovecraft Country, something drew me in.

Maybe I was reassured after noticing that Jordan Peele was an executive producer?

Maybe I just magically knew Misha Green would do this justice? (Women directors always do things differently, and have a different perspective on directing movies, so they’re much easier to digest for me. I mean, have you seen The Old Guard on Netflix yet? I loved it!)

However, I was convinced from the very start that I should watch Lovecraft Country, and now that I’ve finally watched episode one and episode two, I can finally share why I think everyone should watch the new series, even if they hate horror films.

If you’re not sure what Lovecraft Country is even about, the ten-episode series, based on the novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he journeys with his childhood friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) on a road trip from Chicago across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father Montrose (Michael Kenneth Williams).

lovecraft country woody
Lovecraft Country Episode 1 – Jurnee Smollett, Jonathan Majors – Photograph by Elizabeth Morris/HBO

Their search-and-rescue turns into a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and monstrous creatures that could be ripped from an H.P. Lovecraft paperback.

So … Should I (and when I say I, I mean you) watch Lovecraft Country?

My honest answer? Yes.

A thousand times yes.

Lovecraft Country isn’t like the horror films we’re used to. I know we’ve only been blessed with two episodes so far, but I can see what road this show is heading in (kinda, sorta) and I’m happy to say that even those who hate horror fllms will enjoy this.

Misha Green’s Lovecraft Country doesn’t focus on monsters the way normal horror films would. Yes, there are monsters in this show, and yes they do monstrous things, but they’re honestly not that bad. Watching a monster rip the arm off of a man doesn’t scare me nearly as much as watching Atticus, Leti, and Uncle George trying to escape a Sundown town before a racist cop shoots them, just for being Black.

And my statement above shouldn’t be taken lightly, because I hate the sight of blood. (Like, I cringe every damn month when I’m on my period, because that’s how much I hate blood.) So, it’s not to say that these moments with our “friendly” monsters are joyous, and to be overlooked. Them thangs legit come out of no where sometimes, and yes I jump a little when that happens.

But it’s not the scariest part of this series, and I can’t tell if I’ve grown up a bit as to where monsters don’t bother me as much anymore, or if I’m just so terrified of what these white people might do to my friends (yeah they’re my friends now) that any momentarily escape from the racism is invited, even if that means fighting a few monsters instead.

Plus, the moments where I jump, don’t last long. You know how you’ll watch a horror film and you’ll get scared and then you’ll just sit there waiting for the next scary thing to happen, on the edge of your seat, cringing, afraid of what’s coming next? Yeah, that’s not how I feel watching Lovecraft Country!

To me, the monsters, magic, music, and everything else outside of racism, are just props. They’re cotton candy fluff, to make you feel better about what’s really happening before your eyes.

Lovecraft Country Tony Goldwyn Abbey Lee
Lovecraft Country Episode 2 – L-R: Tony Goldwyn, Abbey Lee – Photograph by Eli Joshua Ade/HBO

This series is honestly about the racism Blacks have endured and the real life monsters they’ve had to fight year after year to get what they want. Battle after battle, Black folks have had to claw their way to the top, while dealing with the worst things imaginable.

So if you think enormous blob monsters with multiple eyes that only come out at night, who can tear entire limbs off with ease, and are extremely fast for their size are scary.

You probably haven’t had 7 minutes to escape a trigger happy cop, who would love any excuse possible to shoot a Black man, while having to maintain the speed limit of 25 miles per hour, or risk being pulled over by said cop, who’s trailing behind, hoping you don’t make it out in time.

You probably also haven’t sat down in a restaurant hoping to be served, to only find out that the server has called in “reinforcements” who just so happen to be racists with guns.

So yeah any scene that doesn’t involve racism honestly just makes Lovecraft Country fun to watch, which is something I never thought I’d say. And despite how intense things get, I’ve never felt like I had to hide my face, or hit pause to woosah and power through.

lovecraft country Jurnee Smollett
Lovecraft Country Episode 1 – Jurnee Smollett – Photograph by Elizabeth Morris/HBO

Lovecraft Country is amazing, and a joy to watch. You can tell that everyone involved really put their all into this.

From the acting, to the writing, to the music selections, it all just comes together so wonderfully as a masterly crafted centerpiece to be displayed for all to see. (And you know what centerpiece I’m talking about! The one mama makes us get out and only goes on the table when company comes over during the holidays! Yeah, that centerpiece.)

It has the right amount of science fiction, mixed with terrifying ‘what ifs’, and dare I say racism?

There’s enough of all three to scare you into awe and silence as you stare at the screen waiting to see what happens next, but not enough to make this off putting to those that cringe at even the slightest sight of blood.

So if you haven’t started watching Lovecraft Country yet, just pull the trigger and get it over with. I promise it’s not as bad as you think it is.

Click here to watch Lovecraft Country on HBO Max. And if you don’t have HBO or don’t wanna pay for it because you’re worried you’ll hate this, click here to watch the first episode on YouTube for free.

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Written by Shaye Wyllie

Shaye is an Entertainment Writer from Brooklyn, NY and a big fan of anything and everything superpowers related (especially if kids/teens are involved), cooking + baking shows (like MasterChef Junior and Cupcake Wars), teen dramas, sitcoms, comedies, and legal dramas. When she's not binging the latest series on Netflix or writing, you can find her spilling her thoughts on the Brown Side of Disney Chat or creating YouTube videos with her daughter for their new family site, Popcorn and Tater Tots.

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