Lovecraft Country, the new supernatural horror series set to debut on HBO in August, couldn’t feel more relevant moment. While a first look at the series, based on the book by written by Matt Ruff and produced by Misha Green, Jordan Peele, and J.J. Abrams, leaned into the supernatural strangeness of the series, a new trailer makes it clear that there are more insidious and relevant threats to the characters than magic from another world.
Lovecraft Country follows Atticus Turner, a young, Black army veteran with an obsessions for science fiction books. Shortly after Atticus returns from World War II, his family is pulled into a mystery fueled by otherworldly magic and secret cults that take them all through America in the middle of the Jim Crow era.
The book is divided into several interlocking stories, and we catch glimpses of some of them in the trailer. There are haunted mansions, zombies, and monsters from other worlds, plus other horrors, too.
During its rapid montage, the trailer shows a cross burning, police stopping a Black family at a checkpoint, and a police officer firing a gun. It seems, just like the novel, that the series will be just as much about the horrors that face Black Americans, and have for centuries, as it will be about supernatural forces.
This shouldn’t come as any surprise considering the specific wealth of talent that’s behind the series. Green, the showrunner and executive producer, was the creator of Underground, a series about the Underground Railroad. Peele, who’s executive producing, is best known for Get Out and Us, outstanding examinations of America’s relationship to race.
In fact, the series’ focus on race is right in its title. H.P. Lovecraft himself was vocally racist during his life and it seeped into all of his work. Even though his books and stories are science-fiction and horror classics, they’re inextricably linked to their racist roots, even today.
And Lovecraft Country’s reminds us that America is no different. With thousands of Americans across the country protesting law enforcement’s violence and racism after the police murder of George Floyd, the stains of racism and slavery are still just as evident today as they were in the past. It’s Lovecraft Country.