ByChristopher Moonlight, writer at Creators.co
Film Maker - Host of The Practical People Practical FX Podcast Show - Typo Lord - https://www.patreon.com/christophermoonlight Be inspired.
Christopher Moonlight

So, just what do I mean when I say tentacles are the "new meta" when something actually has to be old and ingrained in our culture enough to become meta? I most definitely got a lot of flack for using that term in part one of this series. Well, certainly from H.P. Lovecraft, to H.G. Wells, all the way through Hentai, The Thing, and upcoming indie films like Harbinger Down, The Dream Lands, The Void, Call Girl of Cthulhu, (and yes) even my own film The Quantum Terror; the idea of fish-like nasties from beyond the reaches of human perception, coming to murder, maim, drive to madness, and touch New England maidens and Japanese school girls alike with their webbed fingers or boneless appendages is nothing new.

Island of the Fishmen 1779
Island of the Fishmen 1779

However, in a world of zombie walks and vampire lifestyle clubs public awareness has been slow to catch up. Only in recent years have people become more commonly aware of what Cthulhu is to the point where we are seeing plushy toys...

so cute, I'll go crazy!
so cute, I'll go crazy!

...and My Little Pony mash-ups.

Friendship is Madness!
Friendship is Madness!

While the vampire meta lays in its tomb, with very few vampire movies giving actors the opportunity to utter the line, "Dracula? But that's just a novel." and the zombie meta is nearly (un)dead, reducing characters to inform us that they survived because they were nerds for apocalypse fiction; creators of comics, films, and the written word turn to some "old ones" that are fresher in the eyes of the general masses.

"That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die".
- H.P. Lovecraft, Call of Cthulhu

However, there are still some boundaries to be broken before the tropes of this genera become more familiar with audiences, so they don't reduce everything to, "Hey, that looks like The Thing!" or "I think we've seen enough Hentai to know where this is going!" Actually, that last one will always be a classic. Sue me.

No! No! Anything but that joke again!
No! No! Anything but that joke again!

It's true when it's said that there are no new ideas, but what makes the Lovecraftian tentacle arena feel fresh are two fold. On one hand are the many different directions that they can go, like Harbinger Down's ode to practical effects and alien infection...

...Grabbers' drunken comedy slant...

...or The Quantum Terror's take on science and cosmic horror.

On the other hand there are the ways a particular artist can handle the material, such as Stephen King's N...

...and more recently Alan Moore's followup to Neonomicon, Providence.

Might be NSFW, btw.
Might be NSFW, btw.

You know it must be true when you're seeing it on The Simpsons.

Treehouse of something something Danger Zone!
Treehouse of something something Danger Zone!

Like superheros, zombies, and vampires before them, many of the trend followers may be eager to turn their noses up at what these themes may seem to be on the surface, before others give them a try. Many of the stories that have come so far, dig deep into where it is we may have possibly come from as a primordial species, where our place in the universe might actually be, how perception is reality, and the implications of what kind of trouble encountering a higher alien mind might land us. It's not territory for the meek or those who like their horror by the numbers, but if you're feeling adventurous and in the mood for uncharted waters, then gird your loins and lock down your cast iron chastity belts...

She didn't listen.
She didn't listen.

...because the tentacle meta just might be coming for you. Enjoy it before it gets so popular that some hapless teen in the latest scary movie say, "I thought Cthulhu was just a plushy!" which is sure to drive any avid horror fan to true insanity.

If you enjoyed this article, please consider joining me on Patreon for more of my content, including exclusives: www.patreon.com/christophermoonlight

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