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Saturday, January 25, 2020

Review: Color Out Of Space

Director: Richard Stanley
Screenplay: Scarlett Amaris
Year: 2020

The imagination of writer H. P. Lovecraft knowns no parallels and it even has a style of horror named after him because of the number of works that have been inspired by his writings. The most recent horror movie being inspired by Lovecraft was “Underwater” and now we receive “Color Out of Space” which is fully based in one of his writings. Once again the challenge is accepted to make possible the impossible visions of a writer which imagination knew no boundaries.

A family moves to a rural area looking to get out of the city and seek the peace and quiet this place offers. One night, what seems to be a meteorite falls in their yard, which starts affecting life around it with a unique color. Slowly, the family discovers that they are also being affected by the color when they start seeing time and space being affected, but this is just the beginning of what this alien force can do. 

In a story based around a color, visuals are extremely important, recognized by director Richard Stanley (“Hardware”) with the attention he puts on the cinematography and special effects. The cinematography is breathtaking, using different tones of purple and pink that keeps the cosmic feel present with psychedelic visuals that never tire you out. Similarly, the CGI effects are excellent and the practical effects even better, being fundamental in scenes of body horror that by their similarities, quality, and disturbing potential make one remember those seen in the classic “The Thing” and conscious of these we are gifted with a few close-ups of the most frightening moments.

The screenplay from Scarlett Amaris (“Blood Bags”) based on the self-titled story from H. P. Lovecraft largely depends on how the actors interpret their characters, something in which the whole cast surpasses the expectation. Nicholas Cage (“Mandy”) carries the main role that, although overacted in some parts, he manages to always transmit how he is being affected by the color, something complex to do when considering that not much is this is brought up in dialogues and exposition and depends more on what can be shown in the visuals. The rest of the main cast composed of Madeleine Arthur (“Big Eyes”), Joely Richardson (“Event Horizon”), and Julian Hilliard (“The Haunting of Hill House”) do a phenomenal job and, for my liking, more in line with their characters than Cage.

“Color Out of Space” might sound like a science fiction movie and, although it has plenty of it, it’s not shy on horror. The plot only spends a few minutes during the beginning so that the characters can be known and shortly it reaches its turning point introducing the problem in full and with that same fineness, the graphic scenes. The graphic scenes are surprising, and even more surprising is the realism they carry and that makes some parts hard to watch.

“Color Out of Space” is nothing short of a cinematographic brilliance in the horror genre, paying homage to the mind that produced it in the best possible way. The visual aspects are impressive, especially the realism and repulsiveness of the body horror in perfect counterbalance with the beauty of the cinematography and a particular liking for triangle symbolism and alpacas. Not even the characters that don’t make much sense in the story nor the few overacted parts are enough to keep “Color Out of Space” clear of the horror movie gem status and that surely will be well received by fans of the genre.

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