There have been a number of attempts to adapt Lovecraft to the screen over the years, but I wouldn’t personally call many of them “successful,” or “good,” or even “watchable.” But Color Out of Space very well may break that trend – I’m not 100% sure what I just watched, but I think I liked it.
First off, I think it was absolutely the right decision to recontextualize the story in a modern setting and focus it on characters who are either composites of figures from the short story, or invented entirely for the movie. While the short story is effective and creepy, it’s a little light on, uh, plot and characters (this is true of most of Lovecraft’s stories, do not @ me), and that doesn’t work particularly well in modern moviemaking.
Second, Richard Stanley hasn’t written and directed a feature film since 1996’s legendarily weird, doomed production of The Island of Dr. Moreau, so I’m excited to see what he comes up with here, especially in partnership with the production company that brought us Mandy.
And third, it’s Nic Cage! It’s Nic Cage doing Lovecraft! If any actor can sell “average man driven mad by cosmic horror,” it’s absolutely Nic Cage. (Seriously, if you haven’t seen Mandy, RUN DON’T WALK.)
And who knows – if Color Out of Space does well, maybe Guillermo del Toro will finally get to make that adaptation of “At The Mountains of Madness.”