onsdag 21 oktober 2009
Ivan Zuccon loves H.P Lovecraft. So far he has written and directed four movies based upon Lovecrafts short stories, two of them original pieces very much inspired by the Cthulhu mythos. I have only seen one of them, his debut Darkness beyond, a shot on video movie that is set in the middle of a war between humanity and the old ones. I loathe that type of low budget crap movies with unprocessed photography, but Darkness beyond benefited from a nicely dreamy plot with some good ideas and great locations which raised it well above it's ilk. So when Zuccon sets out to make an adaption of Lovecrafts superior horror story The Colour out of space, I get very interested.
Pietro is a farmer on a remote farm in the Italian countryside who lives with his wife and her mute sister. They are poor but survive on the land and the crops it yields. Until the well starts behaving a bit odd. There seems to be something down in it, in the water and they see strange light coming from it at night. Soon the crops start to grow larger than ever before, but it is doing something to Pietros wifes mind. She starts spitting at the cross on the wall and when she turns agressive he locks her up in the attic. Problem is, he is being affected himself by the same disease.
Damn. this could've been so good. Maybe I am a little harsh on it, because I am a huge fan of Lovecrafts stories but still... The movie starts well (well. he he.). The photography capturing the barren Italian landscape is truly stunning and the locations are perfect for this movie. Now comes the biggest problem with the movie: The script. Lovecrafts original story is about a meteorite that lands in close vicinity to a farm in rural Massachusetts. The meteorite is so alien in origin that, in a simpel explanation, decays after prospering for some time. When Zuccon adapted the story he removed all the alien references and turned it into a supernatural evil. Big mistake. The wonderfully cosmic menace is substituted with what in the end turns into a possession horrormovie when Debbie Rochons characters turns evil and has to be locked up in the attic. A priest is called in and so forth, nothing new, which is too bad. The look and production design of the movie promises so much but in the end all we get is your average, though well shot, horror movie. The actors are better than expected, with all the different accents coming in from all over the world, but look more like they belong in a perfumeadvert than in a horror movie about poor farmers. There are a couple of nice touches such as the cross on the kitchen wall that slowly melts throughout the movie and the last 15 minutes finish up the movie in a good way, with lots of atmospheric scenes of the decaying farm.
A wasted opportunity, yes, but Zuccon clearly shows potential and I look forward to the day when he gets a decent budget and sets out to make a worthy Lovecraft adaption. That will be the day. Until then Colour from the dark will do as a decent horrormovie, and it is just that. But as a Lovecraft movie, it fails.