Ewan Gleadow

Movie Review: Colour Out of Space

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Copyright: RLJE Films

Is it sort of bad that I was looking forward to Colour Out of Space? I mean no disrespect to him, but the glory days of Nicolas Cage came to a long overdue end sometime ago, and now that he’s accepting just about every movie role he’s lucky enough to receive, it feels like he’s degrading himself for the sake of our entertainment. His latest role in Colour Out of Space seemed to be a diamond in the rough, a project with real potential that wasn’t going to be rammed straight onto a DVD release and hurled out the window at Mach speed. No, this one seemed promising. The key word is “seemed”, because like most modern Cage films, this one turned into a real stinker exponentially quickly.  

At one point, Nicolas Cage says “It was unlike any colour I’ve ever seen before.” Purple is the colour in question. That is the Colour Out of Space. There, I’ve saved you a whole hour and fifty minutes of time, I have suffered for art yet again. You’re welcome. Cage as ever rings up a performance that displays his usual campiness, but this time there’s nothing all that interesting for him to be doing. He plays the role of a father, and outside of Mom and Dad, Nicolas Cage playing a father is just boring. He didn’t manage it in The Weather Man and he definitely didn’t have what it took in The Family Man either.  

The rest of the cast fare no better, a collection of borderline nobodies that just about manage to get through the bland script with their dignity somewhat intact. Their performances aren’t even that good, pedestrian and cliché and not up to the standard you would expect from fully fledged actors. There’s a definite disconnect between reality and whatever it is the actors think they’re doing in providing a strange concoction of what they think the typical suburban family acts like. We’re presented with drama and subplot sheerly for the sake of it, not because the film wants us to care, but so there is something for us to bear witness to. Without this collision of uninteresting subplots then the film would probably be over within an hour.  

The tagline for this film being “A Richard Stanley Film” doesn’t make a lick of sense to me, especially given that Stanley’s weight as a director is as light as a feather. His direction here exudes the confidence of a captain going down with his ship. There are nice moments of Lovecraftian horror sequestered throughout Colour Out of Space, but its relevance is minimal and inclusion abrupt. A real shame since I’m a bit of a sucker for those H.P. Lovecraft beasts, yet I’ve not seen a film that has given a confident expansion on his work just yet. 

Nicolas Cage milking an alpaca and talking in a wisdom-like tone of the patience required to do so can’t even save this messy, lifeless and frankly poorly acted piece. A real shame, but it’s not as if Colour Out of Space had the effort or energy required to bring us a decent product in the first place. Falling to more or less the same, Lovecraftian fate as Underwater did, Colour Out of Space is a monstrously dull piece of film.