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The Color of Space Review (2019)


My History With the Film:

A couple of years ago, Nicholas Cage did a movie entitled Mandy that was well received. This drug inspired revenge flick quickly became a cult classic and this got people excited about his next project with the same production company called The Color of Space. Not only was it another collaboration, but it was also an adaptation of an HP Lovecraft story as developed by famed director Richard Stanley, who hadn’t worked on a feature film since 1996 when he was fired after four days on The Island of Dr. Moreau. Needless to say, this film had a lot going for it and made it an interesting film to check out.

I’m not a huge Lovecraft fan (I honestly don’t have that much exposure to his writings) and I’m very on the fence about Nicholas Cage’s crazy performances. So, The Color of Space wasn’t on the top of my list of feature films to check out. However, one bored weekend during the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to check it out and see how it was.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):

A family deals with the after effects of a meteor landing in their front yard.

What I Liked About It:

-I thought Madeleine Arthur (Lavinia) was fantastic in all of her scenes. Her opening scene with the horse and her ritual was by far one of my favorite scenes in the film.
-Every character seemed to have a purpose and this all fed into the plot. I thought the casting well rounded with Nicholas Cage doing what he does best (straight guy to crazy guy in .5 seconds), Joely Richardson playing the slightly off-hinged mother, Tommy Chong offering a believable squatter character, and the rest of the children doing their part in completing the family.
-The effects were quite fantastic and were way better than I expected in a low budget, quirky horror film. At least one creature was created in CGI and worked well, and there is a scene that seemed inspired by The Thing that was so good I wasn’t sure if it was practical or CGI.
-I loved the use of magenta throughout the film, especially as it grows and grows consuming everything.

-This movie is weird, for better or for worse, and I love that the filmmaker was allowed to just go weird with it.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
-Cosmic horror isn’t exactly my cup of tea, and as previously mentioned, this movie is weird. You need to be in the right headspace to just accept all the strangeness that is to come and accept how outside of the box it will become.

-If I’m honest, by the last third of the film I was over it. I liked the set up and the special effects, but the weird story was lost on me and I found myself reaching for my phone to distract myself till the end of the film.

-With exception of Ward (Elliot Knight) and Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur) none of the characters are overly likeable.

Additional Notes:
-This was director Richard Stanley’s first film since he was fired from The Island of Dr. Moreau in 1996.

-Director Richard Stanley has stated that this film is the first in a trilogy of HP Lovecraft films.

-The director along with Swedish filmaker Henrik Moller performed a ritual to the Lovecraftian God Yog-Sothoth while in the Pyrnees to get the film made.

-Nicholas Cage’s father was a huge HP Lovecraft fan and he wanted to do the role as a tribute to his father.

-This is the third collaboration between XYZ Films and Nicholas Cage after Mom and Dad and Mandy.

Rating:

I’ll be upfront and say this isn’t the type of movie I usually enjoy and while I’m glad to say I’ve seen it, I won’t be watching it again. I’m sure fans of Lovecraft and cosmic horror probably adore this film, but I’m more of a traditional slasher/ghost story type of guy.

There are some great performances in this film, some fantastic effects, and a story that will be very different from anything else you’d see at the cinema on any given weekend. If you need something weird and different, The Color of Space is probably for you. But for me, I’d rate it a two out of five and say skip it.

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