Friday, February 14, 2020

Color Out of Space (2019)

The movie the Color Out of Space was recently featured on the cover of Rue Morgue Magazine ~ and I hate it when this happens. Let me explain, I get psyched up about a movie I want to see on the big screen, and then it's only shown at one movie theater in town, once for MAYBE three days. When I saw it was up at the North Park Theater, I had to scramble. Monday night at 9:40 pm and I was there! Nic Cage starring in it and a Lovecraft story, what can go wrong?

I admit I wasn't expecting to like it, on top of that it was playing at my bedtime so I was a tad bit crabby. I was pleasantly surprised. I will also admit, I've read Lovecraft, but not this particular story, so I don't have much to compare it to, but I noticed the crashing meteor trope is similar to quite a few classic horror movies.


***SPOILER ALERT...SORT OF***

The basic premise is that a family of five inherits an old country house. Mom works from home doing stocks and she has breast cancer, it was hinted that dad was an artist, the two older kids are teenagers, and all you need to know about the youngest son is that he's adorable and the most impressionable.

They are secluded from people and a meteor hits their front yard ~ of course it does. Meteors and aliens don't land in the city. (p.s. This is why I would never live in the country, too far away from civilization if some crazy sh!t goes down and I need help. Literally...comes down from the sky). This meteor is alive and dissipates it's energy into the ground, the water, the air surrounding the farm. It begins to change time and matter around it.


Staring at the meteor.

Electronics start and stop by themselves, everything is static-y, time speeds up, foreign plants sprout up all over, bugs mutate, water is contaminated, each family member's personality becomes more confrontational and angry, the youngest son begins to see and hear things no one else can see. That's the scary part, it's unpredictable.

I won't go into all the details, but there's a black fluffy cat in the movie that's owned by a squatter that randomly lives on the land played by Tommy Chong. (Yes, THAT Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong. Makes sense since this movie its a little trippy.) The cat's name in the movie is "G-Spot" you know because pussy-cat. (Even though I never read the Lovecraft story, I'm pretty sure this isn't in it.) The cat's name in real life is Lucifer, much more suitable in my opinion. ***Warning all cat lovers, G-Spot doesn't survive the Color Out of Space.


I feel like Tommy Chong plays the same character in every movie.

After thinking about Color Out of Space for a few days, I've decided it reminds me of The Gate, The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill in Creepshow, any of the 1950s B movies about toxic/ radiation/ nuclear destruction, but with beautiful cinematography. A friend said it reminded him of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. So while the story isn't new ~ and one could say all of these movies were based on Lovecraft's original story ~ Color Out of Space is an update.

It included a lot of imagery that's found in so many modern horror movies. For example, the use of triangle shaped elements, just like The Void, OA, and Neon Demon. The use of neon colors to give an almost iridescent quality was great, after all it's the COLOR Out of Space. These small things captured me as an audience member and made it enjoyable.


The body horror special effects were impressive. Mom chops off her fingers and they show it, Dad's skin becomes dark and scaly, the alpacas when touched by the toxic air melt to a giant blob of flesh ~ think the monster in Slither ~ and mom and the youngest get attacked by the light and their skin fuses together into a gooey blob that evolves into The Thing type monster.

About midway through, Nic Cage becomes the comic relief in this movie. His over-acting outbursts into madness were laughable, and the audience did laugh. You'd think this was a bad thing, but it seems to make the movie even better.

My only question is why they made the daughter a practicing Wiccan? Was it to prove even though you worship the old way, you still can't be saved? I didn't think it added to the movie at all. Other than that I give it 4.5 mutated alpacas out of 5.

I'm looking forward to Nicolas Cage's next movie, and hopefully more Lovecraft adaptations!

Here's the trailer...



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