Mingling aesthetic and stylistic DNA from The Thing, Poltergeist, Annihilation and The Shining, among others, Richard Stanley’s adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s Colour Out of Space manages to mutate into its own legitimately creepy, and at times quite terrifying, beast. It is something of a triumphant return for a director who was last seen playing a mutant beast extra on the set of the film he’d been fired from, 1996’s The Island of Doctor Moreau, starring Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer. Word of his mental disintegration clearly has either been premature, exaggerated, or at the very least overcome.
A family on a farm finds their lives getting super weird after a small meteorite crashes in their yard. Nicholas Cage plays the dad, who’s not coping well with what’s happening to his alpacas, his well water, and his wife. As with The Shining, the terror comes from two fronts: the invasive effects of an alien presence, and the more terrifying idea that Dad can’t cope with it.
Lovecraft is a popular challenge for filmmakers, and continues to have a huge readership. I’ve never read him, so can’t comment on how valid Stanley’s film is as an adaptation, but as a freaky film about cosmic infection, it’s frighteningly effective.
* * * 1/2, out now on demand via Telstra, Google Play, iTunes, Fetch TV, Foxtel & Umbrella Entertainment plus DVD and Blu-Ray