Director/cowriter/actor Izzy Lee offers a fresh, bold, intriguing take on H.P. Lovecraft’s works with her horror short Innsmouth. Whereas the famous author usually peopled his stories with male characters and shied away from sexual content, Lee gives a strong feminist approach to the proceedings and adds a striking erotic spin, as well.
Diana Porter, a frequent actor in Izzy Lee’s films, stars as Arkham-based Detective Olmstead, who investigates the puzzling death of a woman whose corpse has not only an unusual bite mark but also an egg sac on its back. A photograph at the crime scene points Olmstead toward the town of Innsmouth. Her probing leads to a meeting with the mysterious Alice Marsh (Tristan Risk), who claims to be a descendant of town founder Captain Obed Marsh. Once inside Marsh’s home, Olmstead finds herself far out of her usual take-charge element, and Alice proves to be a formidable force.
Tristan Risk tackles her role with confidence and gives an evil glee and a vampish vibe to Alice Marsh, who is in control of not only the town she claims to own, but in her dealings with the unsuspecting Detective Olmstead (whose name is a play on that of the narrator of Lovecraft’s short story The Shadow Over Innsmouth, Robert Olmstead), as well. She gives a fearless performance, especially in the short’s startling climax. Diana Porter gives a solid turn as Olmstead, initially inhabiting her character with a sense of self-assurance but later showing a more submissive side. Izzy Lee also acquits herself well as Izzy, a crime scene investigator who works with Olmstead.
Though Izzy Lee (http://www.nihilnoctem.com) inhabits her version of a Lovecraftian world with strong female characters, lesbian erotica, and a climactic image unlike anything that the author himself described, she also pays homage to some of his characters and themes. She is a prolific filmmaker, with 8 short films on her resume since her first effort in 2013, Legitimate. Innsmouth continues her steady development as both a director and writer, and cements her as a horror talent to continue watching.
Innsmouth: (3.8 / 5)