There’s a long, strange history of film adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft’s work. It’s a difficult situation because Lovecraft is one of the most influential writers for modern horror, but his work is so weird and intellectually abstract that it doesn’t translate well to film. Most Lovecraftian adaptations combine Lovecraft’s works, draw from his world building, or evoke his philosophy to pay homage. It’s very rare that someone attempts a faithful adaptation of one of his stories.
So when I saw the trailer for The Color Out of Space, I knew it was going to be one of my most anticipated movies of next year. It’s either going to be awful or amazing.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about this movie. I may be a sucker. I’m not denying it. But, this movie has plenty of indications that it’s going to follow the story pretty faithfully. The story line looks similar, and the color itself looks pretty unreal — I can buy it. It’s already won a bunch of awards, the cinematography looks promising, and if it sucks, at least it’s starring Nicholas Cage — his weirdness alone promises for a pretty decent retelling in the weird fiction vein.
If this movie is faithful to the story, though, we’re in for a horror treat befitting the environmental catastrophe humankind faces thanks to pollution of our groundwater and natural resources. Lovecraft’s story deals explicitly with what happens when a contaminant infects the land, and how it impacts everything from the people who live there to the plant life. If you haven’t read the story, it’s worth reading. Because Lovecraft’s work is all public domain, it’s freely available. The HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast also did some classic episodes covering it with their unique mix of humor and interest in the craft. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Go give them support. They’re amazing.
The Color Out of Space debuted at the Toronto Film Festival this year to rave reviews. It’s slated for larger scale distribution January 2020.
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