Adapted from a 1927 HP Lovecraft science-fiction horror story, Color Out of Space is about about a meteor that slams into Earth unleashing an extraterrestrial organism. It follows Nathan Gardner (Nicolas Cage), Theresa Gardner (Joely Richardson) and their children who see the meteor crash and quickly notice strange things happening around the house and area. At first, after the crash, the garden produces huge, bounteous vegetables that prove bitter. The water takes on a strange taste, but they drink it anyway. Then one by one they start to change. As they live in the woods in the middle of nowhere help when needed is hard to find and things slowly turn from curiosity to horror. Can they find a way to escape the alien terror?
Directed by Richard Stanley who last made a film in 1996 in which he was thrown off the set, The Island of Dr Moreau, this is a colourful, disturbing, gory and trippy ride that will certainly get your attention after the slow build-up. Nicholas Cage is perfect for the part of the father who is slowly losing his mind and this has Cage in full manic mode as he has to try and deal with not only the meteor but also a wife not yet fully recovered from cancer, a risky venture with alpacas and three variously awkward children.
The lighting and colours on display are stark and beautiful to look at but you also get the dark, strange and at times disturbing images which have shades of other movies such as John Carpenter’s The Thing, The Mist and another Lovecraft movie adaptation From Beyond. The introduction of another character, Elliot Knight’s dashing young hydrologist who is on hand to warn everyone about the water, never really develops much, which makes you sympathise with him less towards the climax.
Overall a quirky, trippy sci-fi horror, which has some very disturbing images and sounds, is odd but entertaining and it was good to see that most of the special effects apart from the end scene seem to be practical and not CGI.
The Blu-ray released by Studio Canal has a fantastic 1080p image transfer with a great atmospheric surround mix. The one disappointment is no extras at all, not even a trailer.
FILM – 7 PICTURE – 9.5 AUDIO – 9 EXTRAS – 0