Color Out of Space
Eric S Brown
H.P. Lovecraft wrote The Color Out of Space in 1927,and Richard Stanley’s new adaptation of it is far from the first to be produced. Die, Monster, Die! released in 1965 holds that honor and many others around the globe have followed it including: The Curse (1987), Colour from the Dark (2008), and Die Fabre (2010). The number of adaptations of Color speaks to just how notable, and important, the works of Lovecraft are to the horror genre. Unfortunately, Lovecraft’s legacy in terms of movie adaptation quality is rather the opposite. Movies based on the works of the famous author have a reputation for being low budget or horridly done, but Stanley’s adaptation stands out not only as the best adaptation of Color, but also as perhaps the best Lovecraft based movie ever made.
Is Stanley’s Color Out of Space perfect? No. But it’s dang close. and impressively so. From its opening, with a narrator reading Lovecraft word for word, the film sets a truly Lovecraftian tone. There are fun bits that drag in Witchcraft and magic in a modern way, and moments that harken back to the awesomeness of John Carpenter’s The Thing. The death toll of the movie isn’t high, but it doesn’t need to be. Color functions on a much deeper and powerful level than most modern films, focusing on the horrors experienced by a single family. That’s not to say there isn’t some disturbing and hard hitting gore. There certainly is. Beyond that, though, there are also nods to many Lovecraftian locales and pieces of the author’s mythos.
If you are a fan of Lovecraft or Nicolas Cage, then this movie is a must see film destined to become a cult classic of the genre. It’s best to have read the original story first but even for those who don’t know Lovecraft’s work, it’s a greatly enjoyable descent into darkness and madness.