Colour Out Of Space is more glorious nonsense from Nicolas Cage

More glorious nonsense (Image: Studiocanal UK)

Where do you even begin with the career of Nicolas Cage?

Once Hollywood’s brightest name (he was nearly Superman for heaven’s sake), the last decade of his career has been split between straight-to-video cheapies and completely bonkers B-movies.

It’s the latter that has earned him a cult following, with his moments of lunacy almost becoming a genre of their own. Season Of The Witch, Drive Angry, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Mom and Dad, Mandy… the long and bizarre list goes on, with the only thing being certain is that at some point, Cage will lose his mind.

He continues that proud tradition in Colour Out Of Space, a supernatural horror set in a quiet house in the woods. There we find the Gardner family, with father Nathan (Cage) farming alpacas and enjoying the simple life, while wife Theresa (Joely Richardson) recovers from a serious illness, and their three children adjust to their surroundings. This solitude is disturbed by a crashing meteor, that emits a colourful light that begins to interfere both with the space around them and their minds.

Based on an H.P. Lovecraft short story, this is the first feature film from director Richard Stanley since he was fired from infamous 1996 flop The Island of Dr. Moreau. If you think his vision has softened over the years, think again. A peculiar, uneven film unfolds and stretches the limits of your credulity. A surreal soundtrack lays over a series of unusual events with unnatural dialogue – and that’s before everything goes to Hell. However, against all the odds, it’s really entertaining.

Some will revel in the mystery and symbolism of the visuals, others will just watch, jaws agape, at how bonkers everything is. There is a couple of mumbled lines about Nathan’s relationship with his father (something that comes into play later in the film), and yet we get an entire scene devoted to Cage explaining the right way to milk an alpaca (while offering a demonstration).

Nothing makes sense, and it’s all the more glorious for it. Stoner movie legend Tommy Chong has a bizarre appearance as a squatter on the family’s land, living in a hut and surrounded by smoke. Elliot Knight is impressive as Ward, a hydrologist who is really just there to witness the family go mad and literally tear themselves to pieces.

Fans of Nicolas Cage’s unique brand of freak out will not be disappointed (Image: Studiocanal UK)

At least some of you will be buying tickets to see Cage’s own brand of crazy, and he doesn’t disappoint. Even before the supernatural effects begin, there are moments of hilarity, such as his disdain at how he looks on TV or describing the light emitting from the meteor as ‘a colour I’ve never seen before’ (it’s purple, Nicolas).

However the second hour is vintage Cage Chaos. Want to see the Oscar winner punch the interior of a car? No problem. Want to see him lose it over some bad tasting tomatoes? You got it. Slipping in and out of a strange voice that sounds more like a cartoon character than an actual person, he seems perfectly in keeping with a film that is determined to sidestep logic.

Taken in the right spirit, Colour Out Of Space is a fun sci-fi horror that boasts impressive special effects and a tone that invites you to dive into the oddness. It should find a life beyond its release as a cult favourite for years to come.

Colour Out Of Space is in UK cinemas from 28 February.

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