Before talking about the film Color Out of Space , let's talk about the story that inspired this film. This film is based on a short horror story by HP Lovecraft called The Color Out of Space . The short story was published in 1927. Although using very difficult English - which I often have trouble reading - but The Color Out of Space is a story that is very scary and mysterious, a story that I quite like from some of the work stories. Lovecraft that I've read.
Lovecraft's stories are notoriously difficult to adapt into films, because he often uses language which is quite difficult to turn into visuals. As in the novel The Color Out of Space , in which he often describes his mysterious light as "a color the human brain cannot understand." Many have tried to adapt it to a film, and many have failed because it is quite difficult to turn Lovecraft's written words into a visual in the film. But the film Color Out of Space feels like a pretty successful adaptation, even though it had to change the setting to a more modern one.
Color Out of Space tells the story of the Gardner family who live in the interior of the forest, consisting of their father Nathan (Nicolas Cage), his wife Theresa (Joely Richardson), and their three children Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur), Benny (Brendan Meyer) and Jack (Julian Hilliard). The peace of the family is disturbed by the arrival of a mysterious light that hits their front yard, and starts mystical events that turn their lives into a nightmare.
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What amazes me about Color Out of Space is that even though it has a budget that is not as big as other big horror films , this film manages to capture the insanity that Lovecraft poured through his writing. This film has amazing visuals, the appearance of Nicolas Cage which is very wild and horror that is indeed close to the short story The Color Out of Space . Not only that, although the setting has been changed to be more modern, this film can still capture the mysterious impression that Lovecraft's story has.
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Like most of the previous directors, few seemed to know how to take advantage of Nicolas Cage's acting. As far as I have watched films starring him, it seems like the most appropriate role for him is one that requires him to be as wild and crazy as possible. Just look at Mandy , a horror film released in 2018 which also stars Cage. In Mandy , he plays the role of a husband who is engulfed in sadness and thirsts for blood for his wife's killer. Whether in Mandy or in Color Out of Space , Nicolas Cage plays someone whose common sense has worn off and it is such a role that makes his appearance explosive.
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The gigantic appearance of Nicolas Cage in this film, unfortunately, obscures the appearance of other characters. Other characters seem like they can't keep up with the madness that Nicolas Cage's character, Nathan, has. Like the appearance of their two children, played by Madeleine Arthur and Brendan Meyer, where both are required to appear as free and as wild as possible, but their acting feels very lacking. Not only the two of them, but many other characters who cannot keep up with the ambition of this film. Okay, looks like all the characters other than Nathan can't be at one with the madness of this film. Nicolas Cage's appearance was very dominating.
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From a visual perspective alone, Color Out of Space does n't disappoint. Director Richard Stanley knows how important the visual aspect is in his film because in his short story, the mysterious light that comes to the Gardners' residence plays a very important role in what happens to them. Even though the story is written the light cannot be explained because it has a color that the human brain cannot understand, Stanley decided to use magenta for his mysterious light. Visuals that are predominantly magenta in color often appear bright in films, which add to the impression of being mysterious and mystical but also beautiful to look at.
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Horror is also an important aspect that makes this film stand out. How Stanley captured the horror that dominates the story of The Color Out of Space is something I also admire. Starting from his character ascending into insanity, strange events that are occurring more and more frequently, or the surrounding environment that looks increasingly threatening, he can make the horror that Lovecraft wrote come true, and that's not easy considering Lovecraft wrote his story in a very unique way. .
Time is very different from the two stories. The story of The Color Out of Space is set in 1882, while the film Color Out of Space is set in the present. But the stark time difference doesn't hinder the creepiness of Color Out of Space . Stanley's attempt to bring the story to the present day modernizes the short story and can introduce the audience to Lovecraft's other writings.
But none of that makes Color Out of Space a perfect horror film . Apart from the other characters who can't keep up with Nicolas Cage, the duration is also considered too long for a film that might be cut by 20 to 30 minutes. Many of the scenes, especially those outside the Gardner house, feel like they are blocking the story of the film and don't really matter. Perhaps the intention is that the film's story will expand and not only focus on the horror at the Gardner house, but instead the horror at the Garder house is what we want to watch.
Despite those very few flaws, Color Out of Space remains a very creepy, cynical, and mysterious film. Brought to you by stunning visuals and Nicolas Cage's best performances since Mandy , Color Out of Space is one of the best adaptations of the Lovecraft story that won't disappoint old fans and win over new ones.