Over 80 years after his passing, H.P Lovecraft’s influence on ‘genre’ storytelling still has its powerful tentacle grip, even with numerous filmmakers and artists failing to present what exactly ‘cosmic horror’ is.
From the moment Spectrevision announced Color Out Of Space, I was skeptical but equal parts excited to harshly observe and judge Richard Stanley’s return to the big screen. And he did not disappoint. Tentacle memes and evil creatures aside, Stanely understands the real horror behind Lovecraft’s master storytelling style is not just about good vs evil more so an evil you cannot escape, understand or even describe. Both Lovecraft and Stanley perfectly encapsulate how insignificant humanity is in the broader spectrum of the cosmos, and how utterly terrifying and unforgiving that can be.
Color Out Of Space isn’t a page for page adaptation of Lovecraft’s legendary short story, however. From the original (about an idyllic homestead in the 1900’s torn to bits by an otherworldly illness in the form of a meteorite) Stanley has cleverly adapted the setting into modern day which added another element of modern cosmic dread, while avoiding shitty flickering lights and no cell service 21st century horror tropes.
What affected me so deeply about this story when reading the short and again seeing this incredible film, was how perfectly Stanley showed just how little the universe gives a shit about human pain and suffering. As well, somehow managed to make a horrifying monster that…was neither a monster or visible at any point of the story.
– How do you define something so alien that it can’t be fought, can’t be reasoned with, and can break any mind that dares to look at it?
Looming existential dread aside, Color Out of Space doesn’t lack in the horror department either; Filled to the brim with body horror using incredible practical effects that would make even Screaming Mad George blush. Can’t forget a tomato slam dunking, alpaca farming and COMPLETELY unhinged Nicolas Cage who may have topped his Mandy performance in terms of absurdity.
For once, a veteran of the genre presented a classic horror story without an ounce of post-modern irony while still paying proper justice to Lovecraft’s impossibly difficult landscapes to capture on film.
This movie will come with tons of neckbeards and 4chan types acting as if the movie wasn’t made for them, and it wasn’t. It was a big fuck you to modern horror and sci-fi fanbases while still bringing something totally fresh and insanely detailed and full of easter eggs for Lovecraft fans.
Wether you hate or love this one, it’ll keep fans of both Stanely, Lovecraft and genre film talking and re-watching at least 2 times, which to me signals something brilliant.
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