‘Color Out of Space’ Movie Review: Close Encounters of the Nicolas Cage Kind
The bad news is we don’t get big Nicolas Cage movies like Face/Off or The Wicker Man anymore. The good news is, Cage never stopped working and he never phones it in. Now he makes smaller movies that mostly go straight to video, but he makes a lot more of them. Color Out of Space is his first of five 2020 movies, or his sixth of 2019 depending how you’re counting.
So if half of those movies are good like Mandy, Army of One or The Trust then that’s a much higher ratio of good Nicolas Cage movies than when he was doing two studio movies a year. Color Out of Space is one of the good ones and it’s on DVD, Blu-ray, 4K UHD and VOD/digital on Feb. 25.
‘Color Out of Space’ Begins with Nicolas Cage on Earth
Nathan Gardner (Cage) raises his family on a remote alpaca farm. The sight of Cage milking alpacas is worth the price of a rental. That’s not even one of the weird scenes. He commits to being a devoted alpaca farmer and taking care of his herd.
A meteor lands and causes weird things to happen to the Gardners. It gets in the water and unleashes weird space creatures too. Color Out of Space is based on an H.P. Lovecraft short story so it’s got weird mutations too, but Cage’s performance gives them a run for their money.
‘Color Out of Space’ drives Nicolas Cage cagey
Nathan already displays a lot of Cageism before the meteor lands. Cage uses his colorful performance to show Nathan as a good father. He’s goofy, but endearing and paternal before the color out of space arrives.
One of the first effects of the meteor and its purple light is to make Nathan angry and change his voice. He not only yells at his kids, but starts to use the voice from Vampire’s Kiss which is how you know he’s full Cage. It’s always nice to hear that voice again, even though Color Out of Space comes 30 years later, and you never know when it’s going to turn into an outburst.
The plot tries to out Cage Nicolas Cage
It’s creepy enough when the color out of space creates purple praying mantis beetles. It also ruins the Gardners’ vegetable crop, but Cage freaking out on bad veggies is probably more than the meteor bargained for.
The meteor also causes Nathan’s cancer stricken wife Theresa (Joely Richardson) to fuse with their son Jack (Julian Hilliard). So that puts a strain on family dynamics. It also gives Nathan a skin rash for some body horror. Their older kids Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur) and Benny (Brendan Meyer) try to hold it together as normally as possible while all this is going on.
Richard Stanley creates a strong tone with a lot of purple tint. There are good creatures and other weirdness for Nathan to react to. At a certain point, is the meteor making him Cagey or is that just his reaction to all this unfathomable stuff happening? Who cares? Enjoy it in Color Out of Space.