Stanley’s work is a shiny gem in world of over produced garbage, and it’s purple hues are very, very welcome
In a true exaggerated Nicholas Cage fashion, Color Out Of Space is the Richard Stanley version of the H.P. Lovecraft fantasy of the same name. Filled with aforementioned colour, aliens and strange lights, the film is everything it promised to be, at least in terms of style, giving off the impression of genuine horror film making, rather than producing something just to make people jump.
Nathan (Nicolas Cage) and Theresa (Joely Richsrdson) live in rural America with their three children, occupied by the slog of daily life. When a meteorite falls from the sky and lands in their front garden, excreting a sharp, bright purple light, normality begins to shift, bringing about a sense of unpredictability in each of their actions.
Color Out Of Space’s unrelenting oddness, and want for the wild and wondrous gives it an expertly crafted sense of originality. Stanley has honed in on the dark monstrosities that come from Lovecraft’s work, and molded them into a very pleasing cinematic viewing experience. Even the CGI, much maligned here on FilmPhorThought, is worthwhile and effective, smoothly adding to the impact of the piece, rather than taking away from it. It’s this unique styling that makes the film as good as it is.
Yet, the initial text, Lovecraft’s short story, is somewhat lacking in bulk, and that doesn’t translate well into a near two hour feature production. The story, almost non-existent in parts, lacks any real meaning or even ambiguity. It’s a linear piece with little explanation or understanding. On occasion this works, especially for a feature looking to be sharp and punchy, but Color Out Of Space doesn’t seem to be that kind of film. There’s an attempt to add lore, it just doesn’t necessarily add to the quality of the film.
Stanley’s work is a shiny gem in world of over produced garbage, and it’s purple hues are very, very welcome. But without any real bulk to back up it’s madness, Color Out Of Space falls away from the great cult horror it could be. It’s a great watch, but not a feature that would offer anything on a fully-aware second viewing.