Cast: Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Madeleine Arthur, Brendan Meyer
Director: Richard Stanley
I can only confirm one thing after watching Color Out of Space and it’s that I have no clue what I just watched. I’m down to watch some experimental and outlandish concepts in a horror movie, but I was utterly not prepared for what this movie had to offer. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, but that viewers need to be prepared for the sensory overload that comes with this movie. Bizarre enough to stand out yet grounded enough to make sense, Color Out of Space is a wonderful representation of science fiction from a previous generation modernized and understandable to today’s audiences.
The film follows the Gardner family, a family of five who live out in the middle of nowhere and raise alpacas. When a meteorite lands in their front yard, the family begins to experience behavioral changes that are out of character based on what we’ve seen so far. Over the course of 111 minutes, we watch as this meteorite seems to creep into this family’s life and completely change everything that they’ve experienced. Let’s talk about the most prominent thing that stands out in this movie; another Nicolas Cage freakout performance. Cage isn’t exactly known for his subtlety, but neither is this movie, which makes Cage the perfect casting choice for the lead role. Watching his character transition from a caring and sensitive father into a raving lunatic is entertaining enough, but knowing that we’ll see one of his trademark meltdowns makes it that much more rewarding. It ultimately compliments a movie that is weirder than most and shows that Cage can still bring the passion and fury that we’ve seen from him before. From a purely creative standpoint, I was impressed with the scope and magnitude the movie tried to present, even if it is outlandish to begin with. When you see things like the color scheme and the visions that come with these cosmic events, you can see just how clear Stanley’s direction was and what he set out to accomplish. I don’t know what the source material looked like, to take something as creative and intuitive as this plot and make it into something tangible and understandable is incredibly impressive. Much like me, not everyone will go out of their way to see Color Out of Space, but there will be a niche audience that takes to this movie and hails it as one of the great sci-fi horror movies of the year. Far from traditional, Color Out of Space embraces its odd nature and creates a world that immerses audiences while also making them feel uncomfortable. I’m still not 100% sure what everything is supposed to represent, but maybe that’s what makes The Color of Space special. Movies like this have to take risks to stand out, especially when it debuts at TIFF, and even though it’s far from a perfect movie, The Color of Space has merit and shows audiences similar ideas from a new, fresh perspective. Full of unsettling imagery and novel concepts, the movie doesn’t always pan out, but it can absolutely stand out in its own right.
Overall, The Color of Space is elevated by a traditionally insane performance by Cage and concepts that both challenge yet frighten the audience. It’s a wild ride to say the least, and I know there are some people out there that will love every minute of this. I may not be one of those people, but there are absolutely moments that I will remember for quite some time. I know it wasn’t the box office smash that it was hoping to be, but The Color of Space is a serviceable stream with lots of potential that may make it a cult classic in the future.
Overall Score: 6.5/10