A Wild Lovecraftian Horror That Lets Nicolas Cage Shine
Richard Stanley is a name that many traditional moviegoers may not know, but for some genre fans, it is a name that brings a lot of joy. The director of Hardware and Dust Devil has not made a feature film since his unfortunate adaptation of Doctor Moreau's Island in 1996 Until now it is. Stanley is back and this time he's attacking a H.P. Adaptation of Lovecraft in the form of Color Out of Space . For good measure, he brought Nicolas Cage for the ride. The end result is a resolutely strange, uncompromising Lovecraftian nightmare.
Color Out of Space focuses on the Gardner family who live a quiet life far from the city. After a meteorite lands in the front yard of their farm, Nathan Gardner (Nicolas Cage) and his family discover that there could be more to this space rock than we thought. After a series of strange events, the family finds itself struggling with an extraterrestrial organism that can infect their mind and body, which completely upsets their little corner of rural paradise.
From the start, this film is probably not for your mainstream movie buff. It is not polluted by fears of jumping. It's not all presented in a 2 + 2 = 4 manner. It is a deeply strange film and Richard Stanley did this thing in his own way. Even in the most normal state, it has a strong surreal vibe. It is also something of a slow combustion. For my money, this burn is just a little too slow, but the rocket ultimately leads to a barrel of powder so bizarre and banana that I find it hard to blame it too much. As strange as it may be, this is not a standard and schlocky adventure from Nicolas Cage. This is an author taking the world of H.P. Lovecraft and applying it to the modern world.
At this point, I'm not a Lovecraft finisher. I have not read the story on which this film is based, so I speak strictly as a film. That said, I think, based on what Lovecraft I've been in contact with, that Stanley has done a hell of a good job of capturing the vibe, but in a modern context, in its own way.
Visually, Color out of space is difficult to dispute. Much of the slow burning has to do with the fact that Richard Stanley is just letting things marinate. There aren't many shortcuts. Everything breathes. This adds to the ambiance of being so distant from the greatest civilization. Things move more slowly when life doesn't get you out at 1,000 miles per minute. But when things get terrifying, it's also a slow exploration. These horrors must be faced at a very disconcerting and relaxed pace. And it is sometimes of bewitching beauty. Some of the design and color palette choices are some of the most memorable visuals I've seen in a while.
One of the most impressive things here is Nicolas Cage. He did some sort of return tour recently, with movies like Mandy showing that he can do more than just the direct trash on DVD. More surprisingly, Cage remains on track for much of the film, and he plays a convincing father. However, when the film derails, Cage accompanies it and it is easy to see why it was chosen. Cage's singular and hammered performance adapts perfectly to the situation and it is a new level different from wacky Cage. The support provided also does a good job. More specifically Joely Richardson and Madeleine Arthur. In addition, Tommy Chong has a very appropriate role in Color Out of Space . It is a supporting role that comes as a very good surprise.
In some ways, this movie has all the elements that a genre fan could want. Scary kids, mysterious stuff in space, the crazy old man who might not be crazy, a lot of blood, occult stuff, strange creatures. Everything is here. The question of whether these disparate pieces constitute a satisfactory whole will depend largely on the personal sensitivity of the spectator. But there are undoubtedly excellent visuals and strong vibrations The Thing which go by points. I will not pretend to fully understand what I have witnessed, but I find myself thinking about it continuously, and I still think it counts for something. I am for whatever Richard Stanley decides to do next, for sure. Color Out of Space is now in theaters at RLJE Films.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Movieweb.