This week I read various works of H. P. Lovecraft. I have always enjoyed reading Lovecraft and watching movies that are based on his works or the monsters of his works.
Lovecraft writes of an ancient evil. Many of his monsters come from worlds beyond our own. I do not mean alien beings per day, but more like dimensional beings and monsters. Many of his monsters are gigantic also.
Giant monsters have not really frightened me. I have enjoyed them, but they never truly scared me. Thinking back to the likes of Godzilla and King Kong, I was never fearful when watching or reading.
Over the years, as I have read and watch Lovecraft stories and adaptations, I was never frightened. Even Lovecraft’s story ‘The Call of Cthulhu’ did not send me into a fearful state. Don’t get me wrong, I love Cthulhu, it is a classic and well written in my opinion. I love the style and the story. Just not scary for me.
One of the Lovecraft stories that we got to read this week was called Packman’s Model. I have to say wow! I thoroughly enjoyed this story and found it a bit creepy. The story was written in a first-person style where the main character, Thurber, was telling his tale to a friend named Eliot over drinks.
Thurber tells a wild story about his friend Pickman who is a talented painter who paints vividly realistic paintings that depict extremely disturbing scenes for horror. He tells of how Pickman coaxed him to his secret studio located in a very old part of the North End in Boston.
Upon arrival, Thurber finds that the paintings that have been produced in this place transcend the boundaries of sanity and decency for the time period. Thurber notes that the images seem so very realistic. He ponders the idea that it has to be impossible for any artist to create such images without a live model to paint.
As the story unfolds, Thurber becomes more and more uncomfortable as his mind knows something horrifying is taking place, but he cannot put his finger on it. He felt himself sliding down a slippery slope of terror, feeling more and more helpless.
In the final part of the story, Thurber expresses the final horror that he has come to know. Pickman was not painting these horrific images from memory. These creatures were not from his imaginations. These creatures had come from reality. Thurber had discovered a photograph of the ghoulish creature known as Pickman’s model.