Dagon is a 2001 Spanish horror film directed by Stuart Gordon and starring Ezra Godden, Francisco Rabal, and Raquel Meroño. It is based on the short story “The Shadow over Innsmouth” by H. P. Lovecraft. The film has been described as “Lovecraftian horror meets Guillermo del Toro”, and draws heavily from both Lovecraft’s work and del Toro’s film Pan’s Labyrinth.
Dagon tells the story of Paul Marsh, a young man who travels to the fishing village of Imboca, Spain, in search of his missing sister. There he finds himself caught up in the village’s dark secret: the worship of an ancient sea god called Dagon. As Paul tries to unravel the mystery of his sister’s disappearance, he finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into the dark world of Dagon.
Firstly I’d like to mention that this movie is an adaptation of HP Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth. So with this in mind I was expecting good things from Dagon. Thankfully I was not disappointed, Dagon is packed full of suspense from beginning to end. It doesn’t take long for the action to kick in and when it does you’re caught. The acting quality is really good, Ezra Godden puts in a great performance as Paul and manages to capture the frantic situation perfectly. Everyone else is also great, with no one letting the show down at all.
SFX wise Dagon is fairly simple but what is there is done very well. The gore scenes are really quite bloody and disgusting making the movie all that more exciting. The make-up dept deserves a HC beer for putting in some truly freaky looking folks and beasties as well. Also worth a mention is the environment, there’s a definite isolated feeling that is pervasive throughout this movie. I believe Dagon was filmed in Northern Spain, the architecture and set designs bring a some what unique feel that you don’t often see or experience nowadays and it works very well helping to enhance the doom like atmosphere.
The storyline is interesting, the characterizations are great and the monsters/bad guys all capture you. Definitely one to check out folks, well recommended.
The film is visually stunning, and the acting is top-notch. The film’s atmosphere is eerie and unsettling, and the creature effects are truly nightmarish. Dagon is a love letter to both Lovecraft and del Toro, and is sure to please fans of both.
The film opens with a quote from H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”: “The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” This is followed by credits over shots of the sea.
Two young Americans, Paul Marsh (Ezra Godden) and Barbara (Macarena Gómez), are travelling in Spain. They stop at a small coastal town called Imboca, where they hope to find a boat to take them to the nearby island of Isla de Sangre (Island of Blood). However, the town is strange and the people seem to be hiding something.
They meet a fisherman, Miguel (Juan Fernández), who tells them that there are no boats going to the island. He also warns them to leave Imboca as soon as possible.
That night, Paul and Barbara are attacked by creatures that come out of the sea. They manage to escape, but Miguel is killed.
They go to the police, but the officer (Ferran Terraza) does not believe their story. He thinks they are drunk or on drugs.
Paul and Barbara decide to leave town, but they are stopped by the creatures again. This time, they are captured and taken to the island.
On the island, they meet the leader of the creatures, Dagon (Ángel Sala). He tells them that the townspeople are under his control and that they will be too.
Paul and Barbara are taken to a cave, where they are to be sacrificed to Dagon. However, they manage to escape and make their way back to the town.
They find the police officer and tell him what is happening. He decides to investigate the island with them.
When they get to the island, they are attacked by the creatures again. This time, the police officer is killed.
Paul and Barbara are captured and taken to Dagon’s temple. Dagon tells them that they are to be his new king and queen.
However, Paul and Barbara manage to escape once again. They make their way back to the town, where they warn the people about Dagon.
The townspeople decide to fight back against Dagon and his creatures. They manage to drive them back into the sea.
The film ends with Paul and Barbara leaving town. As they do, they hear the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks.
Director: Stuart Gordon
Writer: Dennis Paoli
Actors: Ezra Godden, Francisco Rabal, Macarena Gómez
Release Year: 2001