Color Out of Space (2019)

Color Out of Space
Director: Richard Stanley
Writer: Richard Stanley, Scarlett Amaris
Based on: H.P. Lovecraft‘s story The Colour Out of Space
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Madeleine Arthur, Elliot Knight, Tommy Chong, Brendan Meyer, Julian Hilliard, Josh C. Waller, Q’orianka Kilcher
Part of: surprise movie at the /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2019

The Gardeners – Nathan (Nicolas Cage), Theresa (Joely Richardson), Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur), Benny (Brendan Meyer) and Jack (Julian Hilliard) – live on a remote farm where they are trying to escape the hectic big city life, much to the chagrin of Lavinia who even resorts to witchcraft to be able to return to the city. Things do become slightly more interesting when young scientist Ward (Elliot Knight) shows up to test the water in the area. But nobody can anticipate just how interesting things will be after a meteorite crashes in the Gardeners’ garden.

Color Out of Space was okay. It might have won me over more if it had stuck to a 90 minute runtime, but at almost two hours it was a little exhausting, albeit far from a bad movie.

The film poster showing a purple-pink psychedelic splash of colors with faces and some animals emerging.

The film’s most striking feature are the visuals and the way the alien force infects the landscape all around. It does look quite stunning and there are some moments where the film is straight out of a surrealist painting – if the painter had taken some LSD. (At least that’s how I imagine it would look like.)

Nicolas Cage is also fantastic and for once his style of overacting and chewing scenery is meant to be funny. Well, I’m pretty certain it’s meant to be funny – don’t tell me otherwise, okay? Because it was one of my favorite parts of an otherwise rather serious movie.

Nathan (Nicolas Cage) standing in the driver door of his car. Everything is covered in a purple-pinkish mist.

But there just wasn’t enough material there to justify a two-hour film and the pacing was pretty atrocious because the film was too “on” the entire time. It would have needed a few more changes of pace here and there to avoid feeling monotonous – even if it was high-level-of-stress monotony.

The film will certainly find its fanbase (at least among those who can ignore Lovecraft’s racism enough to still flock to his work), but for me it left a decidedly “meh” impression. I’ve seen worse, but I’ve definitely also seen better.

Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur) with a symbold carved in her forehead and tears in her eyes.

Summarizing: Not my thing.

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