My Neighbor Cthulhu

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The film My Neighbour Cthulhu is a 1988 horror film written and directed by the cultist Hayao Miyazaki and produced by the company Studio Ghibli. The film follows a professor and his two young daughters as they try to survive the wrath of Cosmic Horrors. Many who watch the entire film become incurably insane, others simply vanish the next morning, never to be seen again.


A promotional poster for the film.


In 1920, the Kusakabe family, a professor and his two daughters Satsuki and Mei, move to an old house in Innsmouth to be closer with their mother, who is dying of an incurable disease. They discover that strange shadowy figures lurk in the dark corners of their house, and they can sometimes hear strange chanting noises about "R'yleh" and "the dreamer". The creatures flee when Satsuki shines a flashlight into their eyes.

While playing outside one day, Mei (the younger daughter) discovers a copy of the Necronomicon in a field. Reading aloud from it, she accidentally summons a Shoggoth, who chases her into a briar patch and into the hollow of a large Camphor Laurel tree. She hides until it leaves.

The next morning, there is a huge rash of deaths in the village. The police are baffled, and Mei realizes that the nether things she summoned are responsible for the killing. At that moment, Satsuki awakes, and tells her father of her nightmare about a city with strange, non-Euclidian angles and completely underwater.

That night, the girls are waiting for their father's bus in the rain. THe bus he is supposed to be on has not appeared yet, even though it has been several hours. As they wait, Mei falls asleep. Suddenly, Satsuki is siezed by a vision of untold destruction and death, perpetrated by the Old Ones. In her epiphany, she realizes that the only way to survive the wrath of the Old Ones is to become a cultist for Dread Cthulhu, so that she may be among the first to be eaten and be spared the suffering. Mei, having the same vision, goes completely insane, repeating the phrase "tekili-li" over and over again. Their father's bus never appears and the father is never seen again.

The next morning, Satuski finds the Necronomicon in the laurel where Mei left it, and uses it in an arcane ritual to ensure that she will be among the priveleged few to be devoured first.

Mei, meanwhile, has wandered off into the forest, and Satsuki is concerned for her. Using the Necronomicon, she pleads with Cthulu for assistance, but only succeeds in briefly awakening him. Cthulhu devours her and destroys the town, killing Mei in the process.

The closing credits show Cthulhu destroying much of the Earth, before departing to Rl'yeh.


The film met with relatively good reviews, though many were not in English, or for that matter, in any known language.

“Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!”
“'gai, n'gha'ghaa, bugg-shoggog, y'hah; Yog-Sothoth, Yog-Sothoth...”
~ The New York Post

Those that were were cryptically phrased and had very little to do with the film itself.

“That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.”
~ USA Today
“The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, they walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen.”

The Sequel


The Baron. No wonder Haru has a crush on

Later, a sequel, The Elder Things Return, was released. The film follows the adventures of a young schoolgirl named Haru as she is drawn into the Antarctic mountains and encounters things far beyond the realm of human understanding. The movie ends with Haru, her fragile mind shattered beyond belief by what she saw, being escorted into a mental asylum. The DVD itself also seems to have similar properties as it's predecessors, as televisions have been reported bursting into flame and humans going insane after watching this movie.

See Also

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