Color Out of Space (2019)

Finally! I missed my chance to see this in theaters, but I now own it and got to watch it with friends. I don’t feel a need to own EVERY HP Lovecraft-inspired movie (especially since that’s a rather broad category), but I had a fever, and the only cure was Mr. Nicolas Cage doing his thing with some eldritch abominations.

Director Richard Stanley takes The Colour Out of Space (you never went to Europe, Howard, so stop with the pretentious “colour-with-a-u” bullshit) and adapts it to the 21st century. “Nahum Gardner” has been changed to “Nathan Gardner” and is played by Nic Cage, channeling a bit of his performance in Vampire’s Kiss. There’s a new character named Ward Phillips who is black, and that sound you hear is notorious racist Howard Phillips Lovecraft spinning in his grave. One especially interesting change (to me, at least) is that instead of three sons, Nathan and his wife have two sons and a daughter named Lavinia. Fans of Lovecraft’s work will recognize that name, as Lavinia Whateley was the albino mother of Wilbur Whateley as well as the Dunwich Horror in the appropriately titled story, The Dunwich Horror. Stanley has said that he wants Color Out of Space to be the first of a Lovecraftian trilogy he directs, the next being The Dunwich Horror. So… is this the same Lavinia that grows up and has sex with Yog-Sothoth? Given the ending of this movie, probably not, but stranger things have happened in weird tales…

If you’re looking for nightmarish creatures, this movie has a goodly amount. You’ve got a magenta mutant mantis, an alpaca amalgamation, some literal mother/son bonding, and so much more. If people descending into madness is your jam, you’re not going home disappointed. Just about every family member reacts to the color differently, all eventually falling under its control. Looking for references to Lovecraft’s other works? Tons of Easter eggs. But if you’re looking for a deep character study, well… maybe not this so much. The older son barely gets any character development or screen time, as the movie mostly focuses on just about everyone else.

So recently there was a debate on The Internet as to whether the color magenta actually exists or not. The argument (as I understand it) is that since magenta is a combination of red and violet–which are on opposite sides of the visible spectrum and don’t touch–it’s a color our brain invents and isn’t “real.” I had previously joked that the middle ground argument was that magenta WAS real, but wasn’t of our world, referencing this movie. Well, turns out I was close, because director Richard Stanley picked magenta for this movie because of its non-spectral nature! Deranged minds think alike, or something.


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One thought on “Color Out of Space (2019)

  1. Pingback: Fantasy Island (2020) – Chwineka Watches

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