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Color Out of Space (2019) poster

Color Out of Space is a 2019 American science fiction Lovecraftian horror film directed and co-written by Richard Stanley, based on the short story "The Colour Out of Space" by H. P. Lovecraft. It stars Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Elliot Knight, Madeleine Arthur, Q'orianka Kilcher and Tommy Chong. This is Stanley's only feature film since his firing from The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996). According to Stanley, it is the first film in a trilogy of Lovecraft adaptations, which he hopes to continue with an adaptation of "The Dunwich Horror".

Plot[]

In the wake of his wife Theresa's mastectomy, Nathan Gardner moves his family, including children Lavinia, Benny, and Jack, to his late father's farm. One night, a brilliantly colored meteor crash-lands in their front yard near the well. The next morning, hydrologist Ward Phillips, who is surveying the area for a dam development, along with the mayor and the sheriff of the nearby town of Arkham, arrive to see the meteor. Nathan and Lavinia later witness strange phenomena around the meteor, until it suddenly disappears.

Ward notices that the groundwater has taken on an oily sheen and tests it. When his test strips begin to glow brightly with the color of the meteor, he advises the Gardners not to drink it. The family quickly becomes contaminated: Jack becomes fixated on the property's well, observing strange plant growths and insects, as well as claiming to communicate with a 'friend' inside the well. When Theresa is preparing dinner, she vacantly cuts off two of her fingers. Nathan rushes her to the hospital and Benny goes outside to put the farm's alpacas back in their stables, but does not return until late at night, claiming time had passed instantaneously for him. Meanwhile, Lavinia attempts multiple times to contact Nathan, but they are unable to hear each other through the phone. Upon the parents' return, Nathan lashes out at Benny and Lavinia with uncharacteristic rage. Further stresses place the family in crisis, including all the crops becoming desiccated.

Later, Lavinia tries to perform a ritual using a copy of the Necronomicon and offering her blood to save her family, mutilating herself in the process. Theresa suddenly hears Jack and Benny screaming after entering the alpaca stables and rushes to their aid, as the "Color" begins appearing outside. A bolt of the Color strikes and fuses Theresa and Jack together into a hideous mass. Finding all their electronic devices dead, the family is stranded and Nathan and the children carry Jack and Theresa into the attic to shield them from sunlight, which harms them. Benny reveals that the alpacas were similarly mutated by the Color and Nathan euthanizes them with a shotgun. Beginning to lose his sanity, Nathan also attempts to euthanize Theresa and Jack, but is unable to bring himself to do it.

Lavinia and Benny attempt to leave the farm on horseback, but the horse flees. Benny then insists that he hears the family's dog inside the well, but upon climbing in, he is assimilated by the Color. Nathan displays more uncharacteristic rage and locks Lavinia in the attic with Theresa and Jack, who have turned monstrous, attacking her. Ward and the sheriff return to the farm after a nearby resident discovers a fused mass of animals, and arrive just in time to break into the attic to save Lavinia. Nathan shoots and kills the monster, no longer viewing them as his family.

Ward rushes Lavinia outside as the Color emerges from the well, and Nathan attempts to shoot it, but the sheriff mistakes Nathan's aim for Ward, fatally shooting him. Lavinia insists on staying with Nathan, so Ward and the sheriff leave to evacuate a nearby neighbor, Ezra. At Ezra's house, the pair only find his desiccated corpse and a recording he left behind, where he surmises that the Color is attempting to remake Earth into something akin to wherever it came from. Heading back towards the farmhouse, a mutated tree kills the sheriff.

Ward returns to rescue Lavinia, but finds her fully possessed by the Color, which explodes out of the well and forms a funnel into the sky. Ward is shown a vision of where the Color hails from, a psychedelic exoplanet inhabited by tentacled alien entities, before Lavinia disintegrates. As space and time begin to unravel, Ward enters the farmhouse and is pursued by a murderous apparition of Nathan. He hides in the wine cellar as the Color's distortion of reality destroys the property, leaving Ward the only survivor as he climbs out of the remains of the farmland, now a colorless ashy "blasted heath".

In an epilogue, a traumatized Ward stands on top of the finished dam which covers the former property, and narrates that having witnessed the Color's effects, he will never drink the dam's water.

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