YMMV / The Dunwich Horror

YMMV for the novel

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Enough that Stanley Sargent wrote The Black Brat of Dunwich which recast Wilbur as the hero, seeking the Necronomicon in order to banish his more monstrous brother back to big daddy Yog-Sothoth. Meanwhile, Professors Armitage was Evil All Along, having been born in Innsmouth (and thereby strongly implied to actually be a Deep One hybrid) and in cahoots with Old Man Whateley right from the beginning, and the account the original story provided, was the result quite a bit of history revisionism by Armitage, who was trying to cover his tracks and keep his plans secret.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Wilbur, the hybrid son of an Eldritch Abomination, is unceremoniusly killed by a guard dog of all things. A single guard dog, not even a pack, and judging for the description of the scene, the guy (who is even revealed then to be grotesquely inhuman) barely put a fight at all.
  • Fridge Logic: Where did Wilbur's Y chromosome come from? Males inherit that from their fathers (females have XX).
    • If Wilbur is anything like Helen Vaughan, then he might not actually be biologically male—he could have assumed a shape agreeable to most people's image of physical maleness, just as Helen Vaughan wears a pretense of physical femaleness but is, in fact, an eldritch monstrosity that changes sex according to the situation.
  • Narm: Describing a fight with an invisible monster is hard enough to do seriously in third person narration. It becomes even worse when the reader's viewpoint doesn't actually make it to the climax of the story and is instead forced to settle for listening to a description of the fight from a guy watching it through a telescope, making the ending come across like listening to someone describe a bad mime routine to a blind person.
  • The Woobie: Lavinia. She's unattractive, deformed, isolated, lives in squalor with a batshit insane father, and is eventually killed by her unholy spawn whom she had begun to fear. To make matters worse, it seems that her father' and son's souls escape the demonic whippoorwhills at their deaths, but she, they managed to catch. Even after death, she can't catch a break.

YMMV for the 70s film

  • Awesome Music: The soundtrack of the film is just a treasure trot of catchy psychedelic rock music, not to mention a rather cartoonish, but memorable main theme.
  • Cult Classic: If you close your eyes to the fact that the movie is loved by fans of the 60's and psychedelic culture of that time, it is still a perfect example of Narm Charm.
  • Narm
    • Try not to laugh, watching the incredibly theatrical and eccentric Large Ham play of Dean Stockwell, making him look like a drunken student who is trying hard to keep his sanity and not to lose consciousness.
    • Willbur's fight with the guard is incredibly false, including obvious stunt performance and theatrical punches.
    • His grandfather should be perceived as an anxious, insane old man, but he is more like a funny eccentric grandfather.
    • Incredible ending of the film, including color hallucinations, newsreels depicting "weather special effects" and a burning mannequin falling into the abyss.
  • Narm Charm: Most of the viewing will seem to you that the film rather wants to give you psychedelic experiences under LSD, than to scare.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The film turns a very terrible and gothic story into a funny B-movie with an acidic soundtrack, a narcotic atmosphere and a Large Ham Villain Protagonist.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The film is literally imbued with 60s, which in combination with loud psychedelic melodies and bizarre direction turns it into a full-fledged acid trip.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TheDunwichHorror