Followers of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft and his Cthulhuism cult or simply fans of private eye/horror B-movie mishmashes might get a kick out of the two-part La herencia Valdemar, a pair of small, indie films by Spanish writer/director Jose Luis Alemán.
But be forewarned: This is definitely more horror than detective film.
Known in English as The Valdemar Legacy, the first film kicks off with Luisa Llorente, an appraiser, performing an evaluation on a creepy old Victorian mansion owned by Lazurus Valdemar. When she disappears under mysterious circumstances, her company hires private eye NICOLÁS TRAMEL to investigate. Dr. CervÌa, an expert in paranormal encounters, helps out, and historical characters Belle Gunness, a notorious serial killer, author Bram Stoker and Aleister Crowley drop in at various points in the narrative.
Surprise, surprise. It turns out there's a lot more to the drafty old pile of bricks than originally suspected.
Although the first film seems to involve a lot of flashbacks and serves mostly as a set-up for the second film, it received a lot of praise for its special effects and eerie mood and turned a nice profit in Spain. The second film, La herencia Valdemar II: La Sombra Prohibida, soon followed in 2011.
Cthulhu and Lovecraft himself pop up in that one.
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