Nicholas Cage has always been eccentric and his role choices have always shown that. He has been regarded for his chaotic nature and unpredictable manner while also spoken about by anyone under 40 as a legend steeped in a folklore rich with drama and mystique. Every movie that seems to enter into Cage's ever changing landscape seems to only broaden and enrich his status as a jack of all trades. In 2018 he broke into a dark and twisted realm with the psychedelic action horror film "Mandy". In that same vein we are given another truly grime chapter in Cage's acting.
Color out of space was interesting to say the least. The visuals aesthetically combined with the musical score worked in tandem together to create a suspenseful thriller that continued to make you feel uncomfortable as the movie went on. Multiple times during the movie I had to pause it because my anxiety was flaring up a little too bad I felt like there were numerous shocking scenes in this movie that kept me engaged and enthralled the entire time. If you are a Nicolas Cage fan and love his ridiculous acting this has plenty of those scenes for you but with a purpose and with context. Even still this movie was above and beyond way better than I thought it was going to be. A different genre in horror that I don’t really see a lot of anymore. Cosmic horror.
I thought the casting in the movie was 100% on par. And everyone really acted quite well. No one fell out of place. Even Tommy Chong as the local stoner squatter felt super in the pocket for this movie. It was equal parts cosmic horror and equal parts creature feature. There were definitely a couple different scares in this movie that I fully enjoyed. I thought that the practicality of the monsters was very interesting and only made me love it more.
This is one of those movies that I would put on on a rainy day or a gloomy day to entertain me and get in the gloomy day vibes. It is incredibly foreboding to the end of the movie with its music and stylistic choices. I am absolutely in love with the music in this movie. I cannot say that enough!! When you’re when you’re reading the movie recap or this review please listen to the soundtrack on YouTube. Just saying it really sets the tone.
Anyway I would recommend this movie to horror fans that are finding the regular horror stale. It’s definitely a nice change of pace and a good palate cleanser. If you’re a Nic cage fan this is 100% kind of movie that you want to watch with him in it. Especially if you were a fan of Mandy or Willys wonderland.
If I was going to give this movie a rating I would honestly give it a 8.5 out of 10. The pacing was weird but I understand that that’s part of the plot so I can’t really say too much against it. It did have a lot of juicy monster bits and suspenseful music which made everything play that much better. But there were several times that I felt like I wanted more out of what I was seeing. That’s just my opinion. I would definitely recommend this for any date night or even to throw on during a party. It’s certainly a conversation starter and a must for any Nick Cage enthusiast.
Color Out of Space is available now on Shudder!
-FULL MOVIE RECAP-
Color Out of Space (COOS) is literally one of the wildest rides i have ever been on! Let's just get that out of the way right off the bat! It's a movie based on the H.P. Lovecraft short story "The Colour Out of Space". It Stars Nicholas Cage, Joely Richardson, Elliot Knight, Madeleine Arthur, Q'orianka Kilcher and Tommy Chong!
The film is set on an isolated farmhouse in the woods hours from Arkham, Massachusetts. Our main characters are a family. The Gardners. Father Nathan (Cage) moved his wife and three children to this farmhouse after his wife's near fatal brush with Cancer. Right away this movie submerges you in this witch like small town aesthetic and i really loved it. We might daughter Lavina as she performs a ritual by the water for her mothers protection. She's interrupted by Ward Phillips, a hydrologist sent to conducts studies on the local water supply.
The two part ways and we enter the families property. It's a lush farm with Alpacas, a dog a horse and a nifty little water well used by the family despite the Lavina's wishes. It's a truly relaxing space that you would see on someones instagram.. you know those influencers with amazing places you could only dream of. The family has a normal day . They eat dinner and head to bed. But something was different on this night. On this night a meteor the size of a small dog would strike the Gardner property illuminating the sky in a radiant purple/pink hue. The crash of the meteor was enough to awaken anyone sleeping and completely freak the entire family out. The composed themselves and gathered again in the house to find the youngest Jack completely traumatized unable to speak. Nate claims that everything has a smell over it. As we hear the family start to unravel and the tension fill.
The family goes to bed and the next day has started. In the morning the sheriff and the Mayor arrive to see the meteor. Ward shows up to investigate the scene and in ture awkward fashion is introduced to Nate by his daughter. The group discusses the foreign object as it sizzles in the sunshine. The press , Mayor and sheriff all leave the scene as Ward has a closer look. We are cut off from our study of the rock as Nick Cage exclaims "it's time to milk the alpacas!" We get a true Cage scene of the highest caliber as he weirdly milks one and drinks it in front of Ward and his son. Nate believes alpacas are the animal of the future...
Ward asks if anyone else is living on the property and Nate tells him about Ezra.Ezra is a squatter that lives in a shack on the back end of their property. He keeps to his stoner self and rarely talks to anyone so Nate sends his oldest Benny to introduce him.
The air thickens as a storm starts to move in and we are introduced to Ezra(Tommy Chong). He speaks of decoding messages and offers weed and java to the guys as they sit to talk. His pad is just that a pad! An eco friendly self sustained cabin fit with security cameras and everything.. completely off the grid.. high school me was jealous. He offers a cup of water to Ward.. Ward looks at it and notices a hue and sheen to it that seems off.. he smells it offers to test it. He takes a sample and the storm kicks in quick!
A foreboding feeling is in the air now as a full on storm has erupted. Lavina stands in the rain and as Nate brings her inside they both witness lightning the same color we saw before striking the meteor several times. Shit is getting weirder by the second!
Ward tests the water in his field tent and the strip is the same exact color!! He sits at his tent and his radio begins to glitch out . His phone rings and he answers it. nothing just a weird water noise....his car turns on and off..something is happening but what??
The next day the Gardners check on the meteor and are astounded when they see its gone.But they notice a single new flower near the well....same color. The press arrives to cover the story and later that night we see they edited Nate to look like a complete moron. It's hilarious to see him freak out over the news coverage as they paint him to be a UFO nut. with no proof. Pressure is starting to build. As the mother begins to chop carrots in the kitchen we hear the rest of the interview play out. As Jack moves towards his mother a high pitch squeal starts to the beat of her chopping.....Jack pulls on his mothers dress...AND SHE CHOPS HER FUCKING FINGERS OFF....AND KEEPS CHOPPING like she's in a daze!! Blood squirts on jack's face as he tells his father and she exclaims "dinner's ready".
Nate in a rush leaves with his wife to take her hours away to the nearest ER. leaving his three kids in charge of the farm.hours turn to seconds and it's morning again..
A high pitch squealing is heard again ...
Benny rounds up the alpaca giving them food and water as we continue to hear it. The kids gone on like nothing has happened but start noticing more and more flowers of that sam hue. A lot more than before. We get a creepy scene where Jack claims to be talking to a man in their well. He starts whistling to the man and as Lavina gets up she hears a whistle back..I wanna take this second to say you should really be listening to this movies soundtrack during this blog. It's stupendous!
Anyway. Lavina gets a call from her father at the ER but they both he jumbled up noise that sometimes sounds like panic on the other end. Something is contorting reality. We see a praying mantis hatch from inside the well and fly out to greet Jack. It's the same purple/pink hue as the meteor. But it looks like it's fueled by my nightmares and I FUCKING HATE IT! As it flies around we get the feeling that whatever this is has now taken hold of the land.
Lavina begins to clean her moms blood from the sink and starts to her the squeal as she runs the sink. She's tripping balls right now.. so much so that we leaves the water running and loses track of time. Her phone rings again. Same none sense. She moves her way to the toilet and blows chunks. She seems to be falling apart. Ward arrives to check on the family and Lavina informs him she's ill. As he starts to explain there may be water contamination she begins to get sick again. Ward is the only one noticing something is wrong here. As he leaves he witnesses Jack playing with an imaginary friend. He goes to check on Ezra. We get a sense that Ezra knows about whats going on.. he may not be a smart man but he somehow feels what's happening. He thinks its aliens. It may be. He goes on a speech about it being in the air, the static, up being down down being up. You know like that one guy at that party who did DMT and thought he saw God! Anyway .
Jack sits in the dark night air with his german shepard as we see a huge light of the good ole color float above the ground . The dog runs towards it and is killed off screen.:( sad.
Inside the house the force is fucking with the tv and tripping out Lavina even more now! The child start to panic as they realize their sense of time and direction are completely upside down. They have no idea what's going on! Lavina's phone keeps ringing and everytime she answers its just more noise. The parents arrive in a storm of confusion thinking the children were just being children. As they children try to explain things aren't what they seem Nate looses his shit in ONE OF THE BEST Nick Cage freak outs to date and it's over ALPACAS!!! I love seeing him lose his marbles like this. He is clearly off his rocker. Lavina tries to call him out and talk about the weird changes and he keeps freaking out storming off to the house. The kids are fed up.
Nick Cage (Nate) goes to take a shower and discovers a weird rash developing on his arms. There also seems to be some sort of gelatin in the water that moves. It's brushed off as grime. As the family gets ready for bed Nate swears he stills smells the same smell.
He claims it's the smell of death and starts loosing it again but is able to reel himself in.. for now..Nate claims everything is gonna be a okay...
The next day things are far from a okay... The whole property has been transformed..We see this as Nate goes to pick vegetables.. they're all over grown and of .. and tastes like death. Frustration continues to mount as our old friend that squeal seems to never end. Phone lines are still not working. More Nick Cage freak outs! LOVE!!!
At this point even the ice has the hue of that color on it. Everything seems like you're on drugs. Like life has a fliter over it and its all itchy... speaking of itchy Nates arms look like shit.. they're all scaley and guess waht color they are turning....
Another day has passed and the night has crept forth again. Now everything is the same color. The grass. everything. Lavina does a blood ritual to with the necronomicon to keep her family safe..She's losing is as well. Jack catches Nate passed out in front of the tv but it's not to sports.. the entity if you will has been sending messages this entire time through the air and it has been affecting everyone. As Lavina begins cutting symbols into her flesh the suspense is driven high. Benny checks on the alpacas with jack to find they have fused together Kroenberg style into one disgusting creature with several heads.
The boys flee in terror but a light of the same purpleish color follows them out the barn like a haze. Benny books is as their mother hugs Jack and the two are engulfed in the energy...We hear them both scream in agony as we see Nate and Benny stare at them in disgust...They have been fused together liek the alpacas...but so much worse.
They try to dial 911 but only get static.. everyone is in panic now... the tension is so thick as Nate notices Lavina's cuts. She sees her brother and mother and shrieks in terror..Nate freaks out again in classic Nick Cage fashion as he can't even start his car to leave..a Purple like haze fills the air. He is in a daze as he returns to his family. They are broken as they try to comfort their mother and brother in disgust.
They NOW understand the meteor is to blame for everything and they can't trust their own judgment anymore. They notice sunlight hurts the terrible twosome so they move them into the attic...real stuff of nightmares here. I can't take this as this point. It's really hard to watch for the first time....
They all share in a moment of pain as they leave the mother and son in the attic and Nate grabs his shotgun prepared to euthanize what’s left of the alpaca. As he moves in the barn the music swells with intensity and we feel every emotion he’s feeling he’s about to kill his babies. In true Nick cage fashion he pulls up the shotgun and unleashes on the beast.
Firing more than six shots into the alpacas he’s now drenched in their neon pink like blood. This scene was absolutely heart wrenching and also super satisfying to watch only Nick Cage could’ve pulled it off. He returns covered in alpaca blood and shoes his children out of the room to give his wife a kiss. They isolate them and leave.
As things begin to spiral out of control the two remaining children try to take a horse and leave the property but the horse continues to lose its shit and runoff. Benny decides to climb inside of the well to try to find answers and is absorbed by the pinkish hue energy.
Lavina is confronted by her father and it’s super uncomfortable as we watch him float between his real self and the energy affecting him. She begs and pleads with him and he forces her into the same room as her mother and brother in an attempt to feed her to them. At this point in the movie Ward has gotten some back up and along with the sheriff is returning to the farmhouse to investigate.
Nate poured himself a glass of booze with some trippy looking ice and sits down to watch TV as he continues to talk to himself. Constantly itching his arms and feeling his rash he sees something on TV when we know nothing is really there but purple static.
We get a crazy creature feature scene with the mother son beast as Ward pulls up with the sheriff sensing something isn’t quite right. They see Nate in a state of panic as he walks to the door and jokes about how hard life has been clearly he’s losing his mind. Ward asks where his daughter is and finds her in the attic about to be eaten the sheriff and Ward are completely shocked and don’t know what to do. Nate storms in with a shotgun and kills the monster weeping as he does he just killed part of his family. Although he chuckles at the end and exclaimed they are not his family.
It’s clear at this point that Nate is so far gone he doesn’t know what’s real and what isn’t real and is just reacting to what he thinks is going on. Ward comforts Lavina and attempt to rescue her but as they walk out the house pink energy tentacles rap through the sky. Nate attempted to shoot the tentacles but the sheriff thinking he’s aiming at Ward shoots Nate. Lavina cries over her dying father and notices his blood is the same color as the monsters and the alpacas. They have truly integrated into the entity now. She begs him not to leave her and he lets out one last breath as he passes to the other side.
The sheriff exclaimed they have to get out of there and she states that thing will not let us leave and they can’t get out of there but Wade does not believe any of it. He believes that they can make it out of there together. Lavina refuses to leave holding her dead father as she says that she lives there Ward says he will come back for her.
Ward in the sheriff travel to Ezra’s shack where they hear a recording in a creepy low tone of his voice talking about the entity in vivid detail. They see his husk of a body drained of all life and glowing purple. As the Tate plays and the creepy feeling intensifies we see his skull light up purple and the sheriff gets grabbed by a tree.
This is probably my favorite scene in the entire movie. Ward makes it back to the area by the well and tries to get Lavina to leave but her cuts are glowing in the same color as the hue. Her eyes are glowing as well. He places a hand on her and instantly sees a galaxy that is ruled by this entity an entire planet shaped by it. It’s truly a sight to see as we are taking on this visual journey for just a brief few seconds. He falls to the grass and it appears to be alive touching him and wrapping around his hands. Now giant tendrils of light come out of the well and form a purple tornado consuming everything around it. He can’t believe what he’s seeing.
The musical score to this last part of the movie is absolutely gorgeous and I adore it. If this scene was an NFT I would purchase it.
A giant swirling tornado of purple pink energy now is racing towards the heavens past the stars. And at the center of it is the daughter. She is absorbed by the energy as it grows around her slowly sucking ward in. This entire scene is super trippy as we see the visuals stretched throughout time and space. Ward fights off the force of the hurricane and makes it back into the family house now seeing the entire family sitting on the couch together. He’s chased by Nate into the wine seller below and survives in a Norma’s blast. It’s almost as if a bomb has gone off after the blast nothing is left but Ash and the color White. Ward exits the wine cellar and finds absolutely nothing left as far as the eye can see. Nothing left but the well.
We get one final shot of Ward standing on a dam next to a reservoir looking at the sun.
As the camera floats over the damn and into the sun we see some of that color in the sunrise. Ward take a drag of a cigarette and we hear .
“ what touch this place could not be qualified by human science. It was just a color out of space A messenger from realms who existence stun the brain and numbs us with the ghosts that it throws out before our frenzied eyes”
Ward drops the cigarette into the water reservoir symbolizing a change and we see a single praying mantis cross the screen as colors in engulf.