Friday, May 22, 2020

Color Out of Space

When they changed the spelling of HP Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space" to "Color Out of Space" I thought - uh-oh, this isn't going to be Lovecraft. Well, it is, and mostly, it isn't. Naturally, the first thing they did was to update the story to the modern era. Fine. It's well-crafted, pretty well acted at times - although it's often just plain goofy and over-the-top, and the special FX range from halfway-decent CGI to retro-1980s of varying degrees. Not sure I liked the pink "colour." It's an okay film, and it's an okay script, although the silliness of some scenes tips it off balance. This is director Richard Stanley's comeback after a 20 year absence, since co-writing (and I believe partially directing) the 1996 mess, "The Island of Doctor Moreau." He does a fair to middling job here, and he now has his eyes set on making a new version of Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror." (Come on, guys: what about "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," "The Shadow Out of Time," or "At The Mountains of Madness?") In this new version of "The Colour Out of Space," Nicholas Cage does a hammy job of channelling Jack Nicholson's Jack Torrance in "The Shining," Tommy Chong plays, well, Tommy Chong, and Joely Richardson seems like she was in a walking coma even before the "colour" from outer space landed on their property. I think this film owes a lot to Stuart Gordon's "From Beyond" (another Lovecraft adaptation), and John Carpenter's masterpiece, "The Thing." Indeed, the "color" of the title could very well be the shape-shifting Thing - or one of its offspring. I liked the film for what it was: fun to watch and laugh at. But did it shake me? Did it make me sit up and say "WOW!" Nope. Maybe I'm just too jaded from watching so many horror films since 1957. But as with many recent films I've seen lately, it's worth the $1.80 rental fee from Redbox, but I wouldn't buy the DVD at any price. It is somewhat of a throwback to some of the low-budget horror films of the 1980s, but it lacks - something, to make it stand apart. It's nothing special. What would Lovecraft think of this film? I have no idea. I believe he would have shaken his head at the film's lack of subtlety. In spite of all the "official" this and "official" that, the film stands on shaky legs, that's for sure. The trailer is much better than the film.
The Color Out of Space Trailer

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