Color out of Space (Horror, Sci-Fi) (2019)
Director: Richard Stanley
Writers: Scarlett Amaris, Richard Stanley (Screenplay), Based on a short story from H.P Lovecraft.
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Madeleine Arthur, Elliot Knight.
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South African director Richard Stanley makes his return with a film based upon H.P Lovecraft’s work, a short story named: Color out of Space.
Before internationally released in 2020 it’s been shown first at the Toronto International Film Festival, and many other film festivals after that.
Color out of Space is a film that mainly takes place on a secluded farm owned by the Gardner family with Nathan Gardner (Nic Cage) being the head of the family having inherited the farm from his father. It’s a quiet place which gets its peace disrupted by a strange meteorite landing on the front lawn, soon after strange occurrences start happening.
Did I say soon after? What I meant was that you’d have to wait through the first hour for the intensity to pick up, but when it does, it does so tenfold. It takes it’s time introducing all the characters and their personalities; these characters are however mostly the Gardner family, apart from them the other characters seem quite shallow and don’t get a lot of time to develop, the best example would be Ward (Elliot Knight) whom we’ve already seen in the first scene meeting Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur) Nathan’s daughter who’s into Wiccan rituals. Their relationship in later parts of the movie just doesn’t come through as believable, like the viewers just need to accept the role of Ward’s character without getting any of the build-ups apart from a few scenes. The depth in these supporting characters is something I sorely missed especially with Ward, who is a hydrologist, but his whole appearance was a little too coincidental. Once the action kicks off, he’s nowhere to be found except for the very end. Better use of a supporting actor is Ezra (Tommy Chong) not only being a fun surprise for those familiar with his body of work but also playing a very similar role to what he usually does. Brief appearances of his character fit with the style of the movie and help progress the plot showing the water’s effects on the population in and around the farm.
There’s a peculiar mix of great special effects, CGI and mediocre acting. Something I wasn’t particularly a fan of, slow but well thought out progression with questionable camera work sometimes using transitions that were straight out of the past. While slated as Horror, I felt like it was just edging along but the genre being exacerbated with grotesque visuals fitting a Lovecraftian movie. All aspects taken in, this is a strange one, and that might just be the best description.
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An ode to Lovecraft’s story with questionable execution