Color me impressed.
What with stormtroopers, tear gas, Covid, and the most destructive wildfires in Oregon’s history bidding for my anxiety contract, a pleasure cruise on the SS Lovecraft proved to be a bracing tonic for my ailing brain.
So long, sanity! Pick me up after the show.
Writer-director Richard Stanley deserves the positive reviews because Color Out of Space is pretty darn good. All the paranoia and cosmic malevolence that one associates with H.P. Lovecraft is present and looks splendid.
Nutshell: Nicolas Cage stars as Nathan Gardner, a yuppie with the bright idea to move his brood from the Big Apple to rural Massachusetts, in the hopes it will prove beneficial in curbing the cancer currently loose in his wife, Theresa (Joely Richardson).
Life on the Gardner’s alpaca farm seems serene, till the peace and quiet is cancelled by the arrival of a small meteorite, which contaminates the environment and turns everything a lovely shade of lavender.
You know the drill. Everyone and everything mutates horribly, but at least it’s in a color I can tolerate.
Cage plays Nathan somewhat against type, shedding the vengeful hero image for a doofus dad with bad glasses, and Color Out of Space is the better for it. His talent for comic madness is on full display, but stops short of cramping the action.
As darkling daughter Lavinia, Madeleine Arthur gets the most screen time and does an estimable job in a performance that transcends the usual goth stereotypes, even as she proves to be the film’s pivotal character.
Unfortunately, her two brothers fail to rate a blip on the Interesting Scale, so it’s up to Tommy Chong as (surprise, surprise) a neighboring hippie reprobate to carry some of the dramatic load.
During a time of multiple crises, my movie demands become simpler as comfort carries more weight than ambiguity and nuance. With Color Out of Space, my needs are fully met.
Cosmic Horror trending during an extinction event makes perfect sense, if you think about it.