H.P. Lovecraft is one of the most influential and famous authors of the modern era. His works influenced not only other writers but also filmmakers, musicians, and even video game developers. His writing even allowed other authors to contribute, and what is called the Cthulhu Mythos. This is why it is so strange that so very few real Lovecraft adaptations are seen, both in film and television.
Netflix‘s Love, Death + Robots season 3 comes to fill that void with an amazing short film that tells a classic Lovecraft story. In Vaulted Hall Entombed is directed by Jerome Chen, and it is based on the short story by Alan Baxter. The short is produced by Sony Pictures ImageWorks, which delivers so truly realistic CGI, and even uses the likeness and voices of famous actors like John Manganiello, Jai Courtney, and Christian Serratos.
Love, Death + Robots: In Vaulted Halls Entombed Plot Summary
In Vaulted Halls Entombed sees a squad of MARSOC soldiers in search of a hostage somewhere in the Middle East. The squad follows the hostage and the insurgents that keep it kidnapped inside a system of caverns that keeps going deeper, and deeper. When the team finds the hostage, though, they don’t find him or his captors alive. They have been transformed into skeletons, with no sign of struggle or weapons having done the deed.
The squad discovers that the caves they are in are quite strange and, inside them, lives a number of dreadful spider-like insects that eat flesh. The squad fights through the mass of insects, they are too many, and they are too strong. Only squad leader Sgt. Coulthard and medical officer Harper manage to survive the encounter. As they go deep into the cavern, they discover a wide open space of gargantuan proportions, and far in the distance a gigantic building that expels a weird light.
Harper tries to find the exit, but Coulthard is enchanted by the light and goes inside the building. Inside, the soldiers discover a gigantic eldritch god, the building is its prison, and the god demand to be set free. Coulthard tries to free the creature, but Harper kills it before he does. The god goes inside Harper’s mind and keeps demanding to be set free.
Later, we see Harper going out of the cavern to the light of the desert. However, Harper has taken her eyes out after witnessing the subterranean god, and her mind is completely broken, only being able to mutter in an ancient alien language.
Love, Death + Robots: In Vaulted Halls Entombed Plot Explained
In Vaulted Halls Entombed begins as a very normal and standard militaristic story, but when the soldiers find the ancient alien prison inside the subterranean Earth, then things get a lot more complicated. The story follows the standard and classic Lovecraft theme of discovering something you shouldn’t.
The god in the prison as the appearance of Cthulhu, one of the most famous of Lovecraft’s creations. This is a powerful creature that is beyond human comprehension, and in a more terrifying implication, something even more powerful than it has managed to imprison it inside this jail.
Harper’s destiny at the end of the story is also the typical destiny of every Lovecraft protagonist. When they come face to face with these creatures that are beyond human understanding their minds cannot take what they are seeing, and so most of them end up insane, if they manage to survive, that is. In this case, Harper takes her eyes out to stop watching the god, but it is too late. She is alive but dead, at the same time.