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Review: An over-the-top Nicolas Cage wigs out in H.P. Lovecraft’s ‘Color Out of…

by Ace Damon
Review: An over-the-top Nicolas Cage wigs out in H.P. Lovecraft's 'Color Out of...

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Many writers and filmmakers have taken ideas from H.P. Lovecraft – in an open and cunning way – that it is difficult to adapt any of the horror author's original stories in a way that does not seem derivative. Even director Richard Stanley's well-crafted version of the classic tale "The Color Out of Space" smells of "Body Snatchers", "Annihilation" and several Stephen King films … all directly or indirectly Lovecraftian.

What Stanley's film has to offer is his own sense of "alien". Best known for the 1990 cult film "Hardware" (and having been fired from the disastrous 1996 version of "Dr. Moreau's Island"), Stanley has a unique sense of style. In his "Color Out of Space", he views a hostile invasion as a psychedelic event, distorting the perceptions of humans under attack.

Nicolas Cage plays the primary human being: Nathan Gardner, a dreamer and a drinker, who recently moved his family from the city to Massachusetts farmland, with the intention of raising alpacas and helping his wife, broker Theresa (Joely Richardson), to recover from it. struggles with breast cancer.

When the story begins, Theresa is supporting her family in online commerce (despite the house's poor Wi-Fi access), while Nathan is watching the Gardner's animals and children: a Wiccan named Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur). and a drug addict named Benny (Brendan Meyer). They also have an elementary school student, Jack (played by engaging Julian Hilliard), who spends much of his days lost in his own imagination.

When a bright meteorite lands on his property, Nathan alerts the authorities and the media. But then a lightning storm obliterates the rock before anyone can get a good look at it, which does not help his reputation for being a kind of crazy person. In a matter of days, the sky above the farm turned hazy purple, the local wildlife is changing and the Gardners – already a very strange family – are going crazy.

Stanley and co-writer Scarlett Amaris take a long time with the pre-meteorite montage of "Color Out of Space". Some of the best scenes in the film arrive early, as the film sets out how Nathan's arrogance and insensitivity test his loved ones' patience. There is a wealth of details – all original in this image, not extracted from Lovecraft – the way the whole family has been bothered by the whims of their patriarch.

Once the action intensifies, the aforementioned familiarity of these types of horror stories becomes an obstacle, with the same old scenes of an alien artifact washing the brain with innocent humans and the worn out cliché of a seemingly kind family man a dark curve. It doesn't help that Cage, as he has been doing in B movies lately, exaggerates even when he doesn't need to, with a sharp accent that distracts images that are already quite bizarre.

But Stanley recovers, after the film takes a turn towards the purely ghostly. Many filmmakers have put the extraterrestrial creatures of Lovecraft's many tentacles on screen, but "Color Out of Space" illustrates a tone – and a mood – that is much more abstract. The film is most successful when it reveals the details of the text and only shows how it feels out of place and displeased, trapped in a surreal mental landscape that, in a way, makes as much sense as any other day on a sad alpaca ranch.

& # 39; Color out of space & # 39;

Not rated
Runtime: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Playing: Starts January 24 in a limited version

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