The essence of Lovecraft

I've spent a long time thinking about what makes a story or setting Lovecraftian - what are the essentials that you can boil it down to and what is incidental? I'd love to hear from others what they think.

To kick things off, I'd say that you have to have fear of the other/unknown - that's key. As such, xenephobia and racism are not required, but they do fit the bill and thus one must be wary of them.

But I don't think misogyny is central. Some may disagree, but the male-centricness of Lovecraft's own writings doesn't seem important as there are so many excellent stories in his style that are much more gender balanced and actually gain by it.

Ive always been of the inclination that a setting is lovecraftian as soon as the protagonist is thrown out of his depth into a situation that reveals truths about the universe that are indescribable, maddening and terrible to behold. This situation SHOULD usually end with the protagonist slowly succumbing to madness or psychosis of some sort and even death. The story usually does not end well. Dead Space, Conarium, even the new Resident Evil to an extent are games that I find to have great Lovecraftian influences. Movies such as The Thing, In The Mouth of Madness, The Ninth Gate (in my opinion) and more recently The Void (amazing movie) are all hugely inspired by Lovecraft's works.

@Tsathogguah The Void was excellent, i enjoyed every second of it!

I love Bloodborne narrative and how does the hommage to Lovecraft.

I think @Tsathogguah nails it in the description. Other wordly elements that are almost maddening to try to comprehend. Something terrible enough to drive one mad. Spring was a recent film that had those elements to me. An ancient evil, yet something to love and adore. Something you can't quite comprehend. Whether it pertains to elements of "the other" or "surrounding" worlds, or an ancient being we cannot fathom to the point of disbelief, ie when dealing with the ethnologist at the end of the story Dagon.