Color Out of Space (film)
Color Out of Space is a 2019 horror film directed by Richard Stanley, based on the short story "The Colour Out of Space" by H. P. Lovecraft. It stars Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Madeleine Arthur, Q'orianka Kilcher and Tommy Chong. This is Stanley's first feature film directed since his firing from The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996).
|Color Out of Space|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Richard Stanley|
|Based on||"The Colour Out of Space"|
by H. P. Lovecraft
|Music by||Colin Stetson|
|Distributed by||RLJE Films|
The Gardner family has traded city life for the country after they inherit a rural family estate located near Arkham, Massachusetts. Struggling artist patriarch Nathan (Cage) tries his hand at gardening yet fails to yield any desired results. That changes one evening when a small meteorite crashes in the yard. The purple-glowing orb soon withers into dust, but not before infecting the local water supply. While the effect on the crops is bountiful, the alien presence soon begins to take an ill effect on the Gardner family.
Richard Stanley's mother, Penny Miller, was a huge fan of H. P. Lovecraft. She read Lovecraft's works to Stanley when he was young. At the age of 12 or 13, he read "The Colour Out of Space", which has "always been a part of [his] psychological makeup". When his mother suffered from cancer, Stanley read Lovecraft's works to her in her declining years.
Stanley initially announced the project in 2013, showcasing a proof of concept trailer online. In September 2015, it was announced that Spectrevision would be producing the film with a projected start date of early 2016.
After many delays, it was announced in December 2018 that Nicolas Cage had signed to play the lead role and that filming would begin in early 2019. In January 2019, the production announced additional cast members including star Joely Richardson, Tommy Chong, Elliot Knight, Julian Hilliard and Q’Orianka Kilcher. Filming took place in Portugal in February 2019.
Color Out of Space premiered on September 7, 2019 in the Midnight Madness portion of the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. On September 6, 2019, it was announced that RLJE Films acquired U.S. rights in a low-mid seven figure deal. The film will be released in the United States on January 24, 2020.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, Color Out of Space holds an approval rating of 85%, based on 41 reviews, and an average rating of 6.76/10. Its consensus reads, "A welcome return for director Richard Stanley, Color Out of Space mixes tart B-movie pulp with visually alluring Lovecraftian horror and a dash of gonzo Nicolas Cage." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 66 out of 100, based on 7 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Chris Bumbray from Arrow in the Head rated the film a score of 7/10, praising the film's performances, visual style and effects while noting the film's length. Bumbray summarized his review by writing, "While it’s maybe a touch slow and arty for hardcore horror fans, Color Out of Space is still a handy comeback for Richard Stanley, who hasn’t lost a beat." Mary Beth Andrews from Daily Grindhouse gave the film a positive review, writing, "His [Richard Stanley] film successfully captures the madness of Lovecraft’s work and is a dazzling modern interpretation. [...] Lovecraft is notoriously hard to adapt, but Stanley walks the fine line between horror and existential dread to create a successful adaptation". Deborah Young from Hollywood Reporter offered the film similar praise, writing, "Hitting the main plot points with well-designed SFX and some impressive night photography, Stanley's film manages to be frightening indeed, even with star Nicolas Cage’s semi-farcical leavening adding some nutty laughs." Jonathan Barkan of Dread Central awarded the film 3.5 out of 5 stars, praising the film's visual style, special effects, and soundtrack, while criticizing the film's first and third act. Nevertheless, Barken summarized his review by stating, "Gorgeous, vibrant, and terrifying, Color Out of Space is packed with Lovecraftian creatures and cosmic infections galore. It’s not perfect but goddamn is it a wild ride." Dennis Harvey from Variety gave the film a mostly positive review, noting the film's uneven tone, "full-bore" climax, and Cage's "arbitrarily oddball" performance; while praising the film's otherworldly imagery, cinematography, and direction. The Skinny's Katie Goh gave to the film a rating of 3 on 5, stating that: "Colour Out of Space is at its best when Stanley goes for this subtle and intelligent filmmaking, gesturing at the horror rather than pushing it in our faces".
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- Andrews, Mary. "[#TIFF 2019 REVIEW] DESCEND INTO TECHNICOLOR MADNESS WITH 'COLOR OUT OF SPACE'". DailyGrindhouse.com. Mary Beth McAndrews. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- Young, Deborah. "'Color Out of Space' Review". HollywoodReporter.com. Deborah Young. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- Barken, Jonathan. "TIFF 2019: COLOR OUT OF SPACE Review - Gorgeous, Scary, Unhinged - Dread Central". Dread Central.com. Jonathan Barken. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- Harvey, Dennis. "'Color Out of Space' Review – Variety". Variety.com. Dennis Harvey. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- Goh, Katie. "TIFF 2019: Colour Out of Space". TheSkinny.co.uk. Katie Goh. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
- Tsirbas, Christos (September 8, 2019). "Toronto: Nicolas Cage Tells Spotlight Initiative Awards Art Is "Healthiest Medicine"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 22, 2019.