Severe overacting, particularly by Nicholas Cage, does nothing to aid an intensely stupid, stretched mystery horror, which deserves to disappear without trace.
Nathan Gardner (Cage) and his wife Theresa (Joely Richardson) have made a sea change.
The couple, along with their three children – a pot-smoking teenage son Benny (Brendan Meyer), a troubled daughter Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur) and scared youngster Jack (Julian Hilliard) – have left the city and retreated to rural life.
Gardner is pleased about the move and all seems to be going well, notwithstanding the fact that his wife is still recovering from the psychological effects of cancer.
Then out of the blue, a meteorite which glows purple crashes into their front yard throwing everything out of kilter.
Mutant forms of technicolour flora start sprouting. Animals begin displaying bizarre deformities. And the Gardners soon come to realise that they too are susceptible to the extra-terrestrial pathogen.
They must find a way to escape the contagious cloud that has consumed their farm.
With the help of a friendly hydrologist Ward (Elliot Knight), to whom their daughter has taken a shine, and an eccentric neighbour Ezra (Tommy Chong), the family attempts to battle a nebulous entity.
Color Out of Space is based upon a novella by H.P. Lovecraft, titled The Colour Out of Space.
I find nothing of artistic merit to commend in the film.
Let’s start with a thin premise.
Add to that a clunky and increasingly erratic screenplay containing inane, cliched dialogue and a surfeit of wooden performances.
It became more and more of a mess.
I am appalled as to just how low Cage has sunk (here he plays a character with a schizophrenic personality) and Richardson is only marginally better.
I would like to think a lot of that has to do with the material they had (or to be accurate didn’t have) to work with.
Quite frankly, they should have taken one look at the script and realised it had “danger” written all over it.
I am staggered that anyone associated with this dross could sincerely believe that with the very best of intentions it could possibly sustain an all but two-hour running time.
The co-writer (along with Scarlett Amaris) and director of the piece Richard Stanley says bringing Color Out of Space to the screen “represents the culmination of more than 20 years of preparation”.
He needn’t have bothered.
I am sure there were many better and more fulfilling ways he could have spent his time.
Often I felt like running from the cinema in despair.
Rated MA, it scores a 1 out of 10.