Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this post. The opinions I share are my own.
At this point in the era of prestige television, one thing is clear: HBO does not rebuild, it simply reloads. Last year as the summer came to a close, “Lovecraft Country” became the latest sensation to captivate the channel’s viewers – and for good reason.
Based on Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel and inspired by the mystical, cosmic horror of H. P. Lovecraft, “Lovecraft Country” delivered top-tier performances, damning social commentary, and plenty of thrills and chills throughout its 10-episode season. Now, season one has arrived home on Blu-ray and digital, and alongside the show are a host of new bonus features.
Set in the 1950s Jim Crow America, “Lovecraft Country” begins with a simple premise: Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) is on the hunt for his missing father, and “Tic” is joined on his search by longtime friend Leti Lewis (Jurnee Smollett) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance). But simply tracking down a missing person isn’t the crew’s only worry – navigating the racist laws and people they encounter along the way only makes things harder. As if that wasn’t difficult enough, why not add ancient wizards, witches and monstrous creatures to the mix?
By the end of its premiere episode, “Lovecraft Country” has transformed from a real-world mystery to an epic and cosmic fantasy, but throughout the season it’s truly a struggle to determine what’s more horrifying: the monsters or the racism.
Showrunner Misha Green uses Ruff’s novel as a starting point, but ultimately channels the heart of the book and expands on the idea of reclaiming the Black experience in genre spaces, like horror, fantasy and science fiction – an idea that is explored further in the Blu-ray bonus features.
Let’s take a look at all of the special features the home release has to offer:
Special Features on Blu-ray Disc
- Orithyia Blue and the Imagination of Diana Freeman – In this brand new featurette, Green and Jada Harris, who plays teenager Diana Freeman, share a look into the creative process behind developing Diana’s comic books and imagination. The artists who created the comics detail the collaborative effort that went into their designs, as well as how important it was to show Black representation in these genres.
- Compendium of Horrors – In another new featurette, dive deep into all of the terrifying monsters that exist in “Lovecraft Country.” From flesh-eating creatures to blood-sucking witches, aliens and ghosts, this show has it all. Green and Ruff break down the supernatural horrors, as well as the decision to incorporate them into the day to day horrors of racism in Jim Crow America.
- Crafting “Lovecraft Country” – This half-hour behind-the-scenes look at the show aired on HBO back in October, but in case you missed it you can check it out now. The episode dives into how Green approached the idea of the show and adapting the novel, and also examines the historical references featured in the show.
- Exploring “Lovecraft Country” – A series of minute-long sizzles featuring the stars of the show explaining the mystique and intrigue surrounding their character and “Lovecraft Country.”
- “Lovecraft Country” The Craft– Another series of short features with the creative team and artists exploring the craft and effort put into developing the series.
Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Raleigh, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for CLTure.org.