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Nicholas Cage’s Color Out Of Space needs pigment of imagination

By Catherine F Poole Feb 22, 2020
Gardner family's land after meteorite hit Photo: Studio Canal Press

“Do you know how much those animals cost us? They are alpacas! Alpacas!” It’s a line you would never expect to hear in a film that essentially is about a meteorite hitting Earth.

Unless it was bellowed by Nicolas Cage.
Color Out Of Space is a film adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s short science fiction horror novel of the same name – a cosmic tale so famous that horror writer Stephen King took inspiration for one of his books.

Originally written in 1927, the story follows a surveyor attempting to untangle the events that took place years before his arrival on the Gardner family’s farm after a meteorite crash-landed.

The meteorite emitted “globules of colour” outside of any humanly visible spectrum, and infected their crops, animals, and even themselves.

The film has a few minor differences from the book, but in terms of the plot, it sticks to the overall concept of the original sci-fi horror classic with a few welcome changes that H.P. Lovecraft himself would be proud of.

Think zany characters, a couple of mutations and a few alpacas thrown in.

At times, Color Out Of Space is a bit of a blood bath, and it is not just including humans who face the horrors. No spoilers but animal lovers, beware – this one can get a bit squeamish.

Cage showcases a characteristically unhinged performance, although the bizarre casting choice seemed a little out of place for the tone of the film.

It begins with an ominous monologue from protagonist and hydraulics expert Ward, building tension and a sense of mystery upon the audience.

Viewers will be readily prepared for a freaky horror, but the tone of the entire film is turned on its head.

Tommy Chong makes an unexpected appearance in this cosmic horror. The comedian, cannabis rights activist and one half of marijuana-fuelled comedy duo Cheech & Chong plays Ezra, a hippy squatter living at the end of the Gardners’ land.

Although the purpose of his character is never really addressed, he provides the perfect dose of comic relief from Cage’s awkward one-liners.

Julian Hilliard, who some may recognise as Young Luke from Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House, plays the family’s youngest member Jack.

After the meteor lands, strange noises start to run through the walls and floors of the house and appear to take over his mind. He becomes unresponsive, only interested in the man in the well.

Whatever your opinions are on this adaptation, there is absolutely no denying that this film is visually stunning.

The meteor releases bursts and blobs of fiery pink, purple, and blue hues that intertwine to produce a colour that you just cannot put your finger on.

For colours that are not often associated with the horror genre, it creates atmospherically disturbing scenes as light meets dark and bright meets dim.

Colour Out Of Space will be in UK cinemas February 28.

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