Color Out of Space (2019)
January 25, 2020 10:52 PM - Subscribe

(Literal) shades of Annihilation by way of Donnie Darko and [insert any random movie where something otherworldly causes isolated family to go mad here], with way more gore and body horror than I was expecting going in--and a surprisingly not-out-of-place Tommy Chong.

I don't think I can say I liked it, but it was beautifully filmed and most of the performances were perfectly nailed.
posted by rhiannonstone at 11:11 PM on January 25, 2020 [3 favorites]

A decent adaptation that is ill served by Cage. The WaPo critic and I seem to agree on his emotionally abusive Dad voice:
At other points, his monologues/rants feel more like an unsolicited audition tape for Alec Baldwin’s job playing Trump on “Saturday Night Live.”
posted by zamboni at 8:04 AM on January 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

I'm looking forward to seeing Richard Stanley back in action. I enjoyed Hardware and Dust Devil. He got such a raw deal on The Island of Dr. Moreau.

If you haven't seen the documentary about that, Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau... it's free on Prime Video at the moment and it's full of jaw dropping weirdness.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:01 PM on January 26, 2020 [3 favorites]

Just saw this last night.

It felt like a blend of The Thing, Annihilation, and It Comes at Night without enough to really make it stand out or carve its own identity. There's a few interesting scenes, the film is at its best during the very last few minutes but so much of the stuff that comes before doesn't gel well together.

Nic Cage's dad impression is horrible, but it got a ton of laughs in the theater, as did anytime the word alpaca is said.

Between The Endless, The Void, and Annihilation we've been getting some great cosmic horror films, this one doesn't hold up.
posted by Neronomius at 3:09 PM on January 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Nic Cage's dad impression is horrible, but it got a ton of laughs in the theater, as did anytime the word alpaca is said

His dad impression is his Peggy Sue Got Married voice. I found that a sort of heartbreaking choice. Charlie Bodell is still a fuck up.
posted by maxsparber at 11:29 AM on January 28, 2020

I thought of it as his less well-known Vampire's Kiss voice (that one will always be peak bonkers-Cage for me).
posted by Drastic at 3:32 PM on February 2, 2020

Nic Cage's dad impression is horrible, but it got a ton of laughs in the theater, as did anytime the word alpaca is said

These are several good examples of why you want Nicholas Cage in a film. Saw it in theater, with 30+ minutes of Stanley and Cage and other cast interviewed by Patton Oswalt playing afterwards.
I thought this was a wonderful, twisty and fun loving cosmic horror masterpiece. The imagery and thematic effects were amazing. It's also rumored to be the beginning of a Lovecraft/Arkham trilogy from Stanley.
posted by Harry Caul at 12:57 PM on February 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm ok with Cage. Definitely (book) Annihilation (although I hated the subsequent books) and Donnie Darko feels.

Super ok with changes to the original short story. No probs bringing in (at least the name) Lavinia (Whatley) from 'The Dunwich Horror.' Likewise the surveyor-dude being brought in from the narrator in 'The Shadow over Innsmouth.'

Liked the stylistic nod to Ray Harryhausen's stop motion animation, perhaps by way of Sam Rami's 'Evil Dead' trilogy.

The opening scene - I thought this might have been a crossover to S.M. Stirling's 'Nantucket' trilogy with the Tolkien obsessed girls.

This is pretty good, but I don't like it. Like, I appreciate it for what it does, but its disturbing. Which I like. But I don't like being disturbed this way.

At least, not right now. I think it could be a very niche mood thing.

The audio effects, in particular. They were very well done, and was deeply disturbing. I didn't enjoy being disturbed this way and I'm still uncomfortable. So, kuddos?

There was definitely some audio tech magic going on behind the scenes. Desynchronization of certain channels/ frequency bands? I'm convinced there's some weirdness in the bass channels (in particular, spatial segregation?).

I would have made a different ending, less acknowledging and getting the excuse to quote drop "a colour out of space" and moving on, and more showing the surveyor having a hard time dealing with/ interpretting "normal life." Like that 'Simpsons' Halloween episode where Homer travels back in time and butterfly-effects the present that he keeps coming back to - only much more subtler.

I got into HP Lovecraft about grade 9 or 10 and jokingly enjoyed it playing 'Call of Cthulhu' ttRPG into college. This felt like it evoked some of the same emotions from when I was 15 reading Lovecraft for the first time, only the audio effects were essentially forced on me rather than my allowing my imagination to get "witchy" about the stuff Lovecraft wrote.

At least this story avoided the more degenerate (even for his time) Lovecraftian racism.

Nice to see Tommy Chong, not so nice to see him in a typed role yet again. But hey, as long as he was into it, man.

I would have zero problems with this team taking a crack at 'The Music of Erich Zann.'
posted by porpoise at 9:14 PM on March 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

Now free in the US on Hoopla, if your library supports that!
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:35 AM on March 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

All these years later and Richard Stanley still has his own distinctive vibe, like you're watching an entire story unfold projected onto a wisp of smoke. It's hallucinatory and weird. No wonder the producers of Mandy wanted him on board.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:52 AM on March 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

I liked it. Little surprised Lavinia didn’t get away after her Chekhov’s necronomicon ritual, or maybe she did, in a way?

It’ll never happen, but I could totally see Ward the hydrologist swapped in for Randolph Carter or whatever professorial protagonist in other Lovecraft adaptations. Old racist H.P. would hate that of course, which makes me like it even more.
posted by rodlymight at 8:19 PM on May 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

So I just finished watching this. I was surprised by how much I liked it. I agree with you porpoise that having a denouement where we see that the narrator struggling to cope with "human reality" as opposed to the what he has witnessed would have been more effective.
posted by miss-lapin at 2:43 AM on September 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

I think disappearing off the face of the earth is too good for him. I would prefer he be yeeted into the sun.
posted by miss-lapin at 11:55 PM on March 17, 2021

Under another title, I saw this with another Nick the other night.
posted by y2karl at 2:06 PM on October 17, 2021

That color's magenta. (See also: vaporwave, bisexual lighting)

There was more body horror than I was expecting.
posted by Pronoiac at 5:02 PM on July 13, 2022

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