Movie Review: Color Out of Space

A colourful, gore-filled psychedelic nightmare of a film that you still might not believe while you’re
watching it happen – Color Out of Space is certainly something else.


Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s story The Color out of Space, the film adaptation Color Out of Space tells the
story of a fairly ordinary family living on a farm, whose life is turned upside down and inside out when a
meteorite unleashes an alien lifeform on their quiet farm – which manifests itself in a series of bright
colours.


Reminiscent of many invasion horror/Sci Fi’s before it, Color Out of Space takes a much more faithful
approach at adapting the H.P. Lovecraft story, which has influenced several films in the past, including
2018’s Annihilation. Despite having some rather standard and clichéd plot elements in the film’s first act,
the many twists and turns along the way will undoubtably take many viewers by surprised.
Don’t let the bright colours fool you – this is certainly a horror movie. While the mysterious meteorite
initially has a lot of pleasant consequences on the countryside farm (including beautiful flowers, juicy
tomatoes and colourful insects), the effects it has on the family unlucky enough to be living where it
landed are nothing short of disgusting. Fans of body horror will relish the disturbing and twisted affects
the alien has on those it attacks – causing a sick display of contorted limbs and pretty colours like
something out of a surrealist, neon acid trip.


While a lot of the appeal of Color Out of Space comes from its wicked merging of pretty colours and
horrific gore, there are a few elements in the film that felt lacking. The most engaging performances
come from Nicolas Cage’s Nathan Gardner, the father of the family, who delivers yet another interesting
and wild performance (in a career which already includes crazy turns in films like Mom and Dad and Bad
Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans) and his on-screen wife in Joely Richardson’s Theresa Gardner, who
manages to be equal parts caring, aggressive and chilling.


However, the performances of the younger children/teenagers in the film, as well as the eldest
daughter’s romantic interest, don’t quite hit the mark. Whether it was due to their characters existing
only to drive the story to its bizarre conclusion is unclear; but viewers who are only watching the film to
enjoy the experience will be just as enthralled by the craziness that ensues. The motivation of the films
eponymous “color” might also cause some audiences to scratch their heads – but then again, many will
likely accept the ill-intentions of an out-of-this-world force with little justification.


While story might be lacking, the film’s incredible use of special effects and its chilling score (composed
by Nine Inch Nails’ own Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) combined with the film’s amazingly vivid visual
style creates an end product that’s certainly worth watching. Even though a few of the VFX in certain
places felt behind the times, the practical makeup and effects were so horrible (in a good way) that they
completely make up for it – if you can stomach what you’re seeing on screen.


Overall, Color Out of Space is a film that is in a lot of ways style over substance – creating a terrific,
visually poignant Sci-Fi body-horror that doesn’t quite live up to the likes of similar stories like Alex

Garland’s aforementioned Annihilation – but a must watch for horror fans, nonetheless. Considering
Color Out of Space is the first narrative film from writer and director Rickard Stanley since his infamous
departure from The Island of Dr. Moreau in 1996, it is certainly a return to form for the director (and one
that should get you excited for his upcoming adaptation of Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror).
A wild ride from start to finish with visuals both stunning and stomach turning, Color Out of Space is a
fitting adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s work and a must-watch for fans of unusual horrors; as well as an
exciting challenge for those wanting to risk a look at the more bizarre side of cinema.

A colourful, gore-filled psychedelic nightmare of a film that you still might not believe while you’re
watching it happen – Color Out of Space is certainly something else.

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