Of course, in 2020, we drop the “The’ from the title, and the spelling is Americanised, and that’s not all that’s new; Lovecraft’s short story is really just a jumping off point in terms of narrative elements. A meteorite, a blasted heath (still named Arkham), mutated animals; Stanley remixes the ingredients and adds a strong family drama, with the aptly-named Gardners facing all kinds of weird distortions in nature. Nathan (Nicolas Cage) and his wife Theresa (Joely Richardson) want to protect their kids, but she slices off a couple of fingers while cutting vegetables, and when she gets back from hospital, things have changed for the worse. There a strange purple hue on everything, the family dog is missing, and there’s all sorts of arcane creatures flying from the hole where the meteorite landed.
Stanley puts the wit back into the horror genre with his deft handling of the ideas here; Nathan’s deep horror at his tv interviews being tarnished by the on-screen description ‘UFO witness’ catches the right vibe of vain indignation; there’s tension about what will happen next, but despite their protests, the Gardners recognise are going to hell in a hand-basket, and there’s not much more they can do than struggle. Effects are carefully eked out, the visuals are unique and imaginative, and the whole package just works; horror films change over the decades, but Color Out of Space feels like the first real horror film of the 2020’s.
In the UK, COLOR OUT OF SPACE comes to Blu-ray, DVD & Digital on 6th April 2020 and is available to pre-order here – http://bit.ly/COOSAmzDB. The Blu-ray edition features exclusive UK artwork by Dude Designs. A limited Special Edition Blu-ray will also be available exclusively from HMV, as part of their First Editions range, featuring a fold-out poster and booklet and slipcase. Available to pre-order here – http://bit.ly/COOSHMVAll.