Midnight Session n°4 : The Color Out Of Space

“The color out of space” is a short story by Howard Philips Lovecraft published in 1927.
This rather short story tells how a strange meteorite, with a very particular color, will bring chaos to a small farm in New England.


As you read this story, you say to yourself that it would be very complicated to adapt it to the cinema, so much it plays on unknown concepts and indescribable forms, that it would be very difficult, if not impossible to bring the screen to life.
While this isn’t the first time that this news has tried to be adapted, or at least in part (“The Curse” with Wil Wheaton), the trailer for Richard Stanley’s latest film looked really promising. As fans of Lovecraft’s stories, I couldn’t wait to find out.

Welcome everyone to this new Midnight Session!


“The color out of space” is directed by Richard Stanley, whose last feature film, “Dust Devil” dates back to 1992. Very good film that I highly recommend to you by the way, with the excellent “Hardware” of 1991. Passionate about magic and everything related to the occult, Stanley (not the Marvel guy) has also made many documentaries on this subject. (Difficult to give you an opinion, I haven’t seen them).

With “Color out of space” he finds himself at the helm of a film in which horror will slowly creep in.
We follow the misadventure of the Gardner family, whose relations between each member are rather tense and will also have to deal with a strange contamination of their environment following the crash of a meteorite.

If at first it is the children who realize the danger that creeps into their lives, the parents will quickly realize that something is wrong:

  • Strange colored vegetation;
  • Strange insect;
  • Mutant animals …

So many things that will get the better of their sanity, particularly that of the father of a family, alpaca ranchers who objectively could not be better interpreted than by a freewheeling Nicholas Cage in moments of madness.

This film is a real gem, which takes the time to deepen its characters, to install its story and to take us into this cosmic delirium with shimmering colors and monstrous creatures, which will not be without reminding us of the brilliant “The Thing ”by Jhon Carpenter, thanks to some old-fashioned animated models, to scenes of transformations, but also because the threat is invisible there, using its environment to create a physical form giving it all a dimension absolutely terrifying!


This film is a real success. Bringing Lovecraft’s short story to life was not easy. The odd color that pervaded his surroundings was surely what was most difficult to convey to the screen. By choosing a mix of purple and pink, it creates a hypnotic ambience that perfectly matches what is described in the original story.
Of course, the director takes a few distances by adding certain elements specific to his universe which are perfectly grafted to that of Lovecraft.
The couple’s young daughter, passionate about occult science, uses the formulas of the Necronomicon (a fictional book invented by Lovecraft that some occult enthusiasts believe to be true).

Visually superb and inventive, full of humor and scary scenes, “The color out of space” is an all too rare cinema experience, which if you let yourself be carried along, will take you into a hallucinated spiral of madness from which you will not come out. unharmed.

If like me you enjoyed this film, know that the production company of Elijah Wood, Spectrevision, already responsible for this film to sign an agreement with Richard Stanley to adapt two other novels of Lovecraft. If these films are of the same ilk, I can’t wait to see them!
And if the success is at the rendezvous, we can, perhaps, hope that the adaptation project of “At the Montain Madness” by Guillermo del Toro is relaunched!

The Midnight Session n°1 : The Shape of Water

Today I wanted to offer you a new article format.
In “The Midnight Session”, I wanted to talk about more or less known films, all of which had a strange or disturbing atmosphere in common. My goal here is to introduce you to films that are worth watching or to try to teach you some things about others that are already well known to the general public.

What I love about Guillermo Del Toro :

What I like about Del Toro is that he is still one of the only directors to offer original and intelligent stories, populated by strange creatures taking the spectators into worlds oscillating between dreams and nightmares.


And strange creatures, he loves it!
It is inside his house nicknamed “Bleak House”, a sort of huge cabinet of curiosities, that our director stores his collections of books and objects related to horror and fantasy. Collection which constantly feeds his imagination and which he transcribes through his films to the delight of fans of the genre.

« The Shape of Water »


“The Shape of Water” tells the story of a mute woman working for the United States government (know you know why I choose this film for this first midnight session 😁). Around a corridor she discovers a room in which a strange creature is held. The two will end up having this friendship, until their relationship turns into a love story.

Guillermo Del Toro signs there a poetic and moving film whose history places it in America of the Sixties plagued by paranoia and racism. The woman and the creature, both too different in their own way will see through each other this beauty that the others do not perceive and will not leave indifferent other characters who will come to help the liberation of the creature.

Kind of Beauty and the Beast aquatic version, borrowing its sticky side from Howard Philippe Lovecraft, “The Shape of Water” is visually superb. With an aesthetic that will also remind video game enthusiasts of the atmosphere of the “Bioshock” series.

One would have thought that this film was a prequel to another film by Del Toro, his adaptation of Hellboy, in which another creature half man half fish was already present, but, although it is the same actor under the two masks , it is not so.
“The Shape of Water” is a unique and poetic film that pays tribute to a great film from the 1950s:


“The creature from the black lagoon”, directed by Jack Arnold in 1954.
The film tells the story of a team of scientists who during an expedition to the Amazon discover that a very ancient creature lives in the waters of the river.

Accusation of plagiarism!

“The Shape of Water” also raised a few waves of challenges and Del Toro was accused of plagiarism.


It seems that a novel by Paul Zindel, “Let me hear you whisper” would have the same theme. A cleaning lady from a biology laboratory falls in love with a captive dolphin.
There are many identical elements:

• The 60s ;
• The military scientific complex;
• Tyrannical superiors;
• The escape in a linen trolley …

Although Del Toro is still prohibited from having read the book, it is doubtful.


Another work may still have been a “strong inspiration”, it is the short film “The space between us”, released in 2015.
We find exactly the same themes and very similar plans.
Here’s what to make your own opinion:

Conclusion:

Plagiarism or not does not detract from the charms of “The Shape of Water”, which I absolutely recommend to you, because this kind of film is far too rare in cinemas. Supported by charismatic actors like Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon, the work of Del Toro is a fantastic and extraordinary film, as only a passionate storyteller can bring us.

The alternative :

If you liked “The Shape of Water”, on a similar theme, I suggest the film “Cold Skin”. A Franco Spanish film directed by Xavier Gans.

In the early 1900s, a man settled on an island lost in the middle of the Atlantic to study the climate, but the island was also inhabited by a lighthouse keeper and a strange creature.
Adaptation of the eponymous Catalan novel, this film is a real gem worthy of the stories of Lovecraft.

See you soon for a next Midnight Session!