As most of you know, I’m a fan of H.P. Lovecraft and his style of horror fiction. His works get adapted into films pretty regularly these days, but it is rare that you get a film that sticks to close the source material. There are plenty of reasons for this (and I could spend a whole blog babbling about it), but most of the time us Lovecraft fans have to settle for something “inspired” by the writer instead of getting an actual adaptation. That is why I was pretty excited to see this film; one that I heard was very close to the original tale of terror.
In the year 1975 Jonathan Davis (Ingo Heise) leaves his home in Arkham to seek out his father who was last seen somewhere in Germany. Jonathan meets up with Armin Pierske (Michael Kausch) who tells him a tale about the little village where his father was last seen. During World War II a meteorite fell into one of the fields owned by a farmer named Nahum Gartener (Erik Rasetter). Gartener calls the university and they send some professors over to study the meteorite. It exhibits some very odd properties. It seems to remain hot even as the metallic object evaporates over time. Most bizarre are the globules of color that appear in the center of the meteor – a color no one has ever seen before or can even describe.
Eventually the meteor dissolves into nothingness, but the Gartener’s farm begins a strange metamorphosis. Crops grow to enormous size, but taste horrible. Animals begin to mutate or shun the area. The family notices the trees appear to move without any wind. Pierske maintains contact with the family but fears they are losing their minds. Eventually the war brings soldiers. One of them is Dr. Davis (Ralf Lichtenberg) an American medic who becomes tied to the final revelation of The Color Out of Space.
- A very faithful adaptation of the Lovecraft story
- Minor changes to setting and characters help enhance the film
- Moody and effective black and white cinematography
- The low budget hinders a few of the larger scale concepts
- Moves at a slow measured pace to build up terror
- Looking for a traditional horror film – look elsewhere
It takes an independent German film to finally do justice to one of Lovecraft’s most interesting mixes of horror and science fiction. The result is a movie that takes time building up the dread until you can almost taste it. While some of the more horrifying visuals are compromised by a low budget, the film makes up for it with some lovely and disturbing cinematography. The cast does a fine job (although I had to judge based on a subtitled performance). All in all, this is a great find for Lovecraft fans and will work for anyone looking for something a little different for their Halloween Horror fest.
Scores (out of 5)
Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.