Color Out of Space Review
Nicolas Cage as Nathan Gardner
Madeleine Arthur as Lavinia Gardner
Tommy Chong as Ezra
Directed by Richard Stanley
Color Out of Space inspection:
Richard Stanley was once among the most prime directors to keep an eye on after the cult hits Hardware and Dust Devil, but became the center of one of the most infamous blacklistings in Hollywood after being fired from the notorious 1996 adaptation of H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau after only 3 days of production. Now, 23 years later, the South African manager is making his feature-length comeback with a new adaptation of the acclaimed H.P. Lovecraft short story Color Out of Space, and it might just be his best work yet.
Set in the rural hills near Arkham, Massachusetts, the narrative follows the Gardner family, patriarch artist Nathan (Cage), financial advisor Theresa (Richardson), occult-obsessed Lavinia (Arthur) and space-intrigued Benny (Meyer) as they trade their city lives for a more peaceful life in the forests after inheriting Nathan’s dad’s estate. As they all attempt to adjust to the new secluded lifestyle, a meteorite crashes in the nearby forests, which affects the water supply and vegetation in the region and brings with it something terrifying that threatens the Gardner family and the few neighbors that they have in the hills.
Having been a fan of Lovecraft since childhood when his mother read his stories , there are few people better to have developed an adaptation of the writer than Stanley, who took the six years since announcing the job to properly develop the narrative in a way that would stay faithful to the source material while also upgrading it in a way to shock even the most veteran of genre enthusiasts. The air remains willful and eerie, keeping the puzzle going and giving hints about what’s going on while focusing on the increasing madness the Gardner family all expertise in various forms.
Among the best upgrades to the source material is some of the transformations the meteorite causes following its Earthly arrival, which as a horror viewer prove to be some of the most shocking and horrifying visuals has ever seen. Grotesque in a manner that’s both prudent to the themes of the story while horrifying to the eye, Stanley and his team masterfully use glimpses and results to toy with viewers’ imaginations at the terrors and send them to territory.
Besides the terrifying visuals and eerie story, the movie is supported by strong work from its cast, namely that of Cage as the patriarch seeking to hold his family together and Richardson as a mother struggling to adjust to her rural lifestyle for the sake of her marriage and her children. Practically the virtuoso of insanity at this point, cage, does so in a fashion and yet explores a character trait.
The only issues with the movie come in the forms of the beginning and the end, which finds the writing to be unoriginal and a bit more understated compared to the rest of the script. In setting up our characters and wrap up the story, Stanley and co-writer Scarlett Amaris have drafted lines that feel too similar to other functions in the horror genre and do not feel like honest representations of the deeper struggles and battles they are all going through as the story progresses.
In general, the movie turns out to be a compelling and shocking piece of existential and cosmic horror that is skillfully, and quite beautifully, directed by Stanley and well-acted by its stars and affirms that he is still a brute force to observe and that Cage may have finally found a new genre that is fantastic for his talents.
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US Release Date: February 14, 2020
Starring: Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, Jim Carrey
Directed By: Jeff Fowler
Synopsis: Based on the global blockbuster videogame franchise from Sega, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG tells the story of the world’s most speedy hedgehog as he embraces his new home on Earth.
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