Skip to main content

Lovecraft Country Trailer Gives Us Plenty of Hints at the Monsters—Human and Alien

Jurnee Smollett and Jonathan Majors in Lovecraft Country (2020)

Today, the official trailer for HBO’s upcoming series Lovecraft Country came out. Based on the book by the same name, by author Matt Ruff, the story is about Atticus Black, who embarks on a road trip, with his friend Letitia and his Uncle George, across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father. As the title would suggest, this journey takes this group into racist white America and exposes them to horrors straight out of a Lovecraft novel.

The cast stars my Black Canary, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Letitia “Leti” Dandridge, Jonathan Majors (Da 5 Bloods) as Atticus Black, and Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O. J. Simpson) as Uncle George. I’ve been familiar with the book for a long time, but since the show was coming up, I have put off reading it until after the series comes out. Sometimes, reading the book first gives you expectations that can put a series in an awkward place.

From the trailer itself, I’m already sucked into it. Smollett-Bell is a star, and every time I think something is going to finally give her the acclaim she deserves, it doesn’t happen, but I’m hoping this will be it. Majors is fairly new to the scene, but I enjoyed his presence. The rest of the cast is filled with talented actors, including my girl Jamie Chung.

As many probably know, H.P. Lovecraft was a notorious racist, whose own anxieties about racial difference manifested in monstrous imaginations of those realities. In the time since his death, many, like Ruff, have been able to extract the motifs and lore of Lovecraft’s works despite the racism, but even better is highlighting the issues present in the work and taking it to its natural conclusion by having the leads be the very people of color Lovecraft was fearful and hateful towards.

We get a flash of a monster in the trailer, but I’m hoping that the series will follow the “less is more” template when it comes to Lovecraft and builds that atmosphere of tension that makes the lore unique.

Lovecraft Country comes out August 16, 2020, on HBO. I know I’ll be watching.

(image: HBO)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.