And then things just got a little weird…
Color Out of Space is the latest from director Richard Stanley as he dives into the wonderful bizarre landscapes of H.P. Lovecraft with some interesting all be it uneven and occasionally forced results.
After a meteorite lands in the front yard of their farm, Nathan Gardner (Nicolas Cage) and his family find themselves battling a mutant extraterrestrial organism as it infects their minds and bodies, transforming their quiet rural life into a Technicolor nightmare.
While it’s unquestionably a trippy and fairly gorgeous nightmare of a film it all feels a little more reserved then we initially expected, until it embraces going unhinged in the third act of the film.
On one end of the spectrum, Writer/Director Richard Stanley really does an excellent job at capturing the genuine humanistic dread that can seep into anyone’s soul when truly being confronted with the unknown (especially when it’s in your own front yard). The film crafts an incredibly feeling of isolation that isn’t obvious until we’re right in the thick of it all (which is why it works) and allows us as an audience to get distracted by the fairly average going on’s of the people in this story.
It all looks amazing and the narrative’s only real drawback is that it just takes a hair too long to genuinely get going and embrace the insidiously creepy nature of the story. It’s not a bad thing, it just feels a little more drawn out then maybe it should have.
Nicolas Cage is embracing his current renaissance and embracing the genre of horror and settles into the role of Nathan Gardner fairly well; a buttoned down family man with some dark edges that ultimately come out thanks to the unwanted visitors in his front yard. That being said he actually takes a back seat to Canada’s own Madeline Arthur who carries the film as Lavinia Gardiner. She’s ironically enough the ‘crazy’ one in the family but knows enough to keep it together when they all come to the realization that the meteor brought them some new neighbours. While Joely Richardson and the enigmatic Tommy Chong do get some moments to shine, the film comes down the interplay between Arthur and Cage which is really quite a bit of fun.
At the end of the day, Color Out Of Space hits you with the weird, it hits you with the funny but also with a fair bit of the sublime as well and while it won’t be the kind of cinematic experience that everyone will enjoy, it’s simply one that has to be seen in order to be truly believed.
Color Out of Space begins a run in select theatres this coming Friday January 23rd.