The movie Color Out Of Space is based on the short story “The Colour Out of Space” by H. P. Lovecraft, and it’s a trippy horror film.
Set in the rural town of Arkham, Massachusetts, the story focuses on a city man-turned-farmer Nathan Gardner (Nicolas Cage), his financial-advisor wife Theresa (Joely Richardson) and their three children are starting a new life. Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur), the eldest child, is a teenage wiccan; Benny, her younger teenage brother, is a stoner; and Jack is the youngest of the trio.
After a mysterious meteor hits their land, water surveyor Ward Phillips (Elliot Knight) arrives, along with the mayor and the sheriff, to see the meteor.
That night, Nathan and Lavinia witness the meteor being struck by several bolts of lightning, and things start getting really weird. The well water looks strange, animals start acting crazy, and then the family itself starts behaving more angry and aggressive.
This is when Color Out Of Space pays off for horror fans, as we are shown strange body mutations and lots of weird imagery.
I’ll be honest, there’s not much of a plot, or even cohesive dialog, but the visuals are solid, from the body horror to the spiraling glow of lights in the title. Director and co-writer Richard Stanley has done a lot with a little.
Cage is a brilliant choice to play the off-kilter Gardner, and the film benefits from other strong performances by Richardson and Arthur. I even enjoyed Tommy Chong popping up in a small part as a…surprise…local stoner.
As Lovecraft adaptations go, it’s one of the better ones. That said, I’m only giving Color Out of Space a 3.5 out 5 stars, because it just felt like it went on too long and fizzled a bit at the end. It’s currently streaming on Shudder.
COLOR OUT OF SPACE
Director: Richard Stanley
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Elliot Knight, Madeleine Arthur, Q’orianka Kilcher, Tommy Chong, Brendan Meyer, Julian Hilliard
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