A secluded farm is struck by a strange meteorite which has apocalyptic consequences for the family living there and possibly the world.
Richard Stanley’s first film in almost 30 years is a science fiction horror film, based on a H. P. Lovecraft short story called ‘The Colour Out of Space’. It stars Nicolas Cage as Nathan Gardner, the patriarch of a family who have recently moved away from the city to a rural farm, in part for a fresh start and in part to escape their problems. He’s given up his aspirations to be a painter to become an alpaca farmer (because a sci-fi horror with Nic Cage just wasn’t quirky enough), whilst his wife (Joely Richardson) is recovering from cancer and struggling to maintain her role as a financial advisor from a remote location with poor internet signal.
Shortly after their arrival, a meteor lands in the garden, emitting a strange purple colour and leading to increasingly stranger events occurring in the surrounding area. Nathan is interviewed by a news crew who have arrived to see the meteor, however it’s disappeared by this point and he comes off looking like a crazy man (not a stretch for Cage). The cinematography and the use of lighting works well, and there are some really well designed, grotesque imagery (Wikipedia informs me this can be labelled as ‘Lovecraftian’). The film is strongest in the mid-section when the premise has been established and the characters are confronted and forced to react to the situation, before it starts to fall apart a bit by the end for me. There are subplots that don’t really amount to anything, mainly involving the family’s daughter (Madeleine Arthur) who seems to be involved in witchcraft which doesn’t really lead anywhere or interact with the main plot, not to mention the hermit in the woods that could have easily been cut entirely.
‘Color Out of Space’ is an entertaining sci-fi horror film and a good vehicle for a dose of Nic Cage craziness, but as I mentioned above, it has its limitations and it could certainly have done with shaving some of the running time.
Directed By: Richard Stanley
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Madeleine Arthur, Brendan Meyer, Julian Hillard, Elliot Knight, Q’orianka Kilcher and Tommy Chong