The Resonator: Miskatonic U (aKa The Resonator) is a 2021 horror film written, produced, special fx, and directed by William Butler (Madhouse, Furnace, Demonic Toys: Personal Demons, Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver, and Baby Oopsie). It’s based on H.P. Lovecraft’s work and it’s a companion piece to 1986’s From Beyond. It was produced by Charles Band (Puppetmaster franchise, Trancers franchise, Evil Bong franchise, Demonic Toys franchise, Subspecies franchise, Tourist Trap, Robot Wars, Laserblast, Pet Shop, Ghoulies, Troll, Dolls, Prison, From Beyond, Creepozoids, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Intruder, and Robot Jox). They are doing a follow up to this!!!!!
Taking place at “Miskatonic University” in Arkham, Massachusetts where all sorts of fantastic and unworldly events have been known to unfold in Lovecraft lore, It follows six gifted students as they navigate life. One of them who happens to be the student with the most potential to do something special with his work, Crawford Tillinghast (played by: Dane Oliver from Hidden Springs, Nazi Overlord, and Creatures of Necessity) builds a machine known as the “Resonator” from his father’s notes The Faculty includes some suspecious teachers like Professor Wallace (played by: Michael Paré from Eddie and the Cruisers 1/2, Streets of Fire, Bad Moon, and Village of the Damned) and Professor McMichaels (played by: Amanda Wyss from A Nightmare on Elm Street, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Silverado, and Better Off Dead… that might have other plans for the talented scientist’s morbid discovery. Crawford is son of the late great scientist Philip (played by: Jeffrey Byron from The London Connection, The Dungeonmaster, Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn, and Star Trek) that battled the same problems as his offspring. The machine allows one to experience multiple dimensions while navigating the unsavory beasts that dwell within them. But things get complicated when Tillinghast realizes that the prototype of his creation has not only released murderous and deadly creatures into his world, but also has affected his own reality!!!!
The Resonator: Miskatonic U is very short so it goes by really fast but it does have a nice flow to it and it never has a dull moment. This is a companion piece to 1986’s From Beyond from one of the original producers Charles Band. Jeffrey Byron plays Philip, the father that inspired all the chaotic events in the future. He was good in his cameo here and you might recognize him from earlier Empire Pictures productions from back in the day. Dane Oliver looks more like Brian Krause Jr than the legendary H.P. Lovecraft actor Jeffrey Combs. He is actually better than expected here, he carried The Resonator and he was a solid lead for this. The other students were interesting and everyone had a completely different personality. It had some excellent eye candy when it came to the girls. The greatest thing about this one was the supporting cast that included the talented Michael Paré and Amanda Wyss. This was the best performance that I’ve seen from Michael Paré in a long time and he was an awesome villain here.
Both of these familiar faces really increased the production value here. The special fx from Michael Deak (From Beyond, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Bride of Re-Animator, Masters of Horror, Day of the Dead, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare,and many others) with his crew was very impressive. Unfortunately, due it’s low budget the visual fx paid the price and they looked really cheap in this. There’s a decent amount here but I’ve seen worse but I hope that they spend a little more money on it for the sequel. Make sure that you stay until the very end because there’s a really cool cameo here from a familiar character that connects the H.P. Lovecraft universe and this kinda serves as a prequel to that horror classic with that reference. For the most part, Butler manages to put together a quality horror feature with a limited budget and he makes everything look like it costs more besides the low rent visual fx here. The production design, the cinematography, music, and almost everything else is done right with barely any money. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next with this franchise, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation and special features from Full Moon! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer looks better than expected on blu ray and you would think it actually had a bigger budget besides the visual fx. The production design and the cinematography shine here. It has two different audio options which includes English: Dolby Digital 5.1 and English: Dolby Digital 2.0 on the disc. It actually one of the better sounding independent features from Full Moon lately. The dialogue is very clean, al the madness is elevated, and the music has a killer boost to it. It has a “Trailer” for the film. It has “Trailers” for a variety of newer Full Moon releases on it. It has “Behind the Scenes” is a little over 17 minutes. It has interviews with director William Butler, actors Jeffrey Byron, Michael Paré, Amanda Wyss, Dane Oliver, other cast members, and the crew. It has all kinds of behind the scenes footage and pictures. It goes a little bit into the history of From Beyond and Empire Pictures. Butler talks about working on those early projects. They chat about Stuart Gordon and H.P. Lovecraft. They go over the story, concept, and their characters for this. It’s a cool inside look into the independent production of this feature.It’s available everywhere in 3 months but it’s exclusively available early at Full Moon Direct right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!