Director: Richard Stanley
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Madeleine Arthur
Release Date: February 25, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
In COLOR OUT OF SPACE, after a meteorite lands in the front yard of their farm, Nathan Gardner (Nicolas Cage) and his family find themselves battling a mutant extraterrestrial organism as it infects their minds and bodies, transforming their quiet rural life into a technicolor nightmare.
Inspired by the tale from H.P. Lovecraft, ‘Color Out Of Space’ tells the terrifying story of the Gardner family and the mysterious, brightly colored and confusing mess they find themselves in following a meteorite of unknown origin crashing into their yard. As the family is plagued by uncertainty and even insanity, this otherworldly arrival sends them spiraling into madness and confusion while also affecting the various animal life throughout the property. Now the family will have to try and find a way to stop the spread of this peculiar life-force or disease, or else find a way out before it fully envelops them.
Directed by Richard Stanley (The Theatre Bizarre) from a screenplay that he additionally co-wrote with Scarlett Amaris (The Theatre Bizarre) which was based upon the short story by H.P. Lovecraft, Stanley does a magnificent job at the helm of ‘Color Out Of Space’ guiding along this strangely beautiful and unsettling otherworldly tale with style and care. The film also benefits from the generally capable folks that comprise the cast, including Nicolas Cage (Mandy), Joely Richardson (The Turning), Madeleine Arthur (TV’s The Magicians), Brendan Meyer (The Guest), Julian Hilliard (The Haunting of Hill House), Elliot Knight (TV’s Once Upon A Time), Tommy Chong (Jay and Silent Bob Reboot) and more, with the majority each offering competent and generally solid performances for the most part in each of their respective roles.
‘Color Out Of Space’ is a spectacularly strange and engulfing tale from out of this world filled with terror, uncertainty and beauty, all with bright, glaring colors from an unknown origin complimenting the peculiar events this family finds themselves thrown into. It’s a film about family as much as a sci-fi thriller about an alien event that takes this generally loving family and tests their limits, patience and love as this odd rock that’s landed in their yard starts to cause everything to become surreal. As day suddenly becomes night and vice versa, and the animal life on their property begins acting anything but normal, it soon becomes a fight for both sanity and survival, with the line between the two always seeming blurred. Filmmaker Richard Stanley has made quite the comeback after the famously troubled production on ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau’ years prior and his great work behind the camera on ‘Color Out Of Space’ is only complimented by the capable cast led by the always enjoyable Nic Cage. Proving that Stanley definitely has a unique and powerful storytelling ability that leaves me quite excited to see what he might bring us next after this memorable and eerie gem. I would strongly urge fans of Lovecraft’s unique style as well as sci-fi and horror fans in general to try and go out of your way to check out ‘Color Out Of Space’ whenever possible. It’s a beautiful, unsettling and at times quite moving film that’s definitely worth giving a chance.
Overall, ‘Color Out Of Space’ is a wonderful, enthralling and splendidly strange sci-fi thriller in the tradition of classic alien and monster movies of old. With a slow burn style that casually ups the eerie and uncertain ambience along its course until eventually going all out with the craziness, it’s a fantastic sci-fi horror flick the likes of which we don’t see enough of these days. ‘Color Out Of Space’ is highly recommended, particularly for fans of H.P. Lovecraft and similar types of sci-fi horror tales of old, as well as genre fans in general that appreciate a slow-burn style thriller that actually leaves you caring for the characters you’re watching. Those already planning on purchasing a copy of the film’s Blu-ray release should be thoroughly pleased with the great high definition video and audio presentations it offers, combined with a few decent bonus goodies.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Color Out Of Space’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful as a whole and offers a sharp, clean and vividly colored presentation from start to finish with no noticeable faults or problems to be found throughout. It holds up impressively even during the various darky lit sequences, never causing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation that should more than please both fans and first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a clean, crisp and often quite aggressive audio presentation throughout that always remains smooth and detailed. It repeatedly takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send rain, eerie sound effects and plenty more throughout the various speakers quite regularly, while also giving the subwoofer a few opportunities to really show off its stuff; all the while making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible at all times. Overall, this is a great 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that sounds wonderful throughout and nicely compliments the onscreen tension and uncertainty.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Color Out Of Space’ includes a few nice extras that fans of the film should appreciate. Included on the release is a collection of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 13 minutes in length altogether), in addition to the Behind the Scenes Featurette ‘The Making of Color Out Of Space’ (running approximately 20 minutes) which features interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus some behind the scenes footage and more. A ‘Photo Gallery of The Gardner’s Farm’ is also included.