Review: Color Out of Space


Based on the short story by HP Lovecraft, The Gardner family - Parents Nathan and Theresa (Nicolas Cage and Joely Richardson) and their three children Lavinia, Benny, and Jack (Madeleine Arthur, Brenden Mayer and Julian Hillard) live on a secluded farm. One day, a meteorite lands on their property and strange things begin to happen afterwards.

This film feels part Annihilation part Mandy. There's a bit of sci fi, a lot of neon pink, and some body horror thrown in. There's so truly gruesome imagery going on at times. I think at times the film has issues marrying all of these things together, but for a DVD watch, this is perfectly fine.

Madeleine Arthur gives my favorite performance in the film. Lavinia is our main point of view so it's easy to be on her side. Arthur throws everything into the performance. My other favorite character was Ward (Elliot Knight) a scientist that the Gardner family encounter and the one with the most sense in the entire film. Nic Cage is wildly uneven in this. Half the time he's trying to play it straight, the other half he's trying to go into full crazy Nic Cage mode, and it comes off as very phony and theatrical. You either go full crazy or none at all. There's no in between.

I was very impressed with the special effects and makeup in this. You can tell they didn't have a huge budget but they made it work and it never felt cheap. Plus, I'm a sucker for bright neon colors on film.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "Don't drink the water." - Ward (Elliot Knight)

10 comments:

  1. I had no idea what this flick was about, but I'm moderately intrigued. Bummer about Cage going half-way...I didn't know anything but full-on was an option anymore.

    Speaking of, the mention of Mandy makes me flinch every time. Still not sure what I saw there.

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  2. I do want to see this as I heard it is insane. Not only because of Nicolas Cage but it's also Richard Stanley's first film in nearly 30 years as he was supposed to do this remake of Island of Lost Souls that unfortunately became The Island of Dr. Moreau with Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer, David Thewlis, and Ron Perlman. There's a documentary about Stanley's attempt and how it all fell apart because of Brando and Kilmer that lead to John Frankenheimer taking control and everything went to shit.

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    1. That doc is on Amazon or Hulu, one or the other, I did watch it. I wish Thewlis would talk about it. He vowed not to and it just seemed like such a mess.

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  3. There's actually an earlier version of this called The Curse from 1987 that's pretty terrible, although it is more accurate to the source material. This version is better, but I'm not convinced that it's more than merely good.

    You're right about Madeleine Arthur, who is absolutely the best part of everything that happens here.

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    1. She's great. I never bothered to look up what the short story was actually about to see how close this one was. I wanted to go in spoiler free.

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  4. I had no idea this movie even existed but it's been so long since I last saw a Nicholas Cage movie that this is going straight onto my list!

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  5. This is the second review I've read on this recently and I'm seriously intrigued.

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