Alright Cultists, let's really sink our teeth into this movie... Before you read it make sure you've read my spoiler-free review first over here.
______________________SPOILER WARNING______________________ From here on out I will be going into this movie in depth, and discussing it with the assumption that you have already seen it. _____________________________________________________________
Finally! I can talk freely. Okay, here we go. Goddamn did I like this movie! As soon as it started I was on the edge of my seat. As I mentioned in the spoiler-free review, from the moment the opening credits roll you can tell it's going to be good. Immediately the sound design is off its head, and as soon as those words appear on the screen a shiver goes down the proverbial spine.
But I've said that already haven't I? Seriously, read this review first otherwise I'll just be repeating myself to try and catch up. Okay, read it? Cool. Let's start off with the most obvious point of interest. The color itself. H.P. Lovecraft, as he often did, made the color indescribable.
But in his defence, that's kind of the point of the horror here.
How do you describe a completely new color from outer space? It's kind of like the "My red is not your red," argument in The Bible of Cthulhu; it can't really be done! So the production designers for this movie had their work cut out for them pretty much from the get go. How on earth do you visually represent a color that's never been seen before? Well it seems like they went for the 'Keep It Simple Stupid' way of thinking, and I think it worked brilliantly. Here's what the color is: uncommon, striking, vibrant, slightly nostalgic in a techni-color kind of way, and definitely from space...
And when you see it in practice, it definitely gives off a subtly otherwordly vibe:
It's not quite strange enough to cause outright suspicion, but it's certainly uncommon enough for you to be more or less unable to place where you've seen it before. It's subtle.
(I'm going to be honest with you Cultists, the night after I watched the film any time I saw something in my house that even remotely resembled the color, the hairs on the back of my neck became a little more active than I prefer.) And it's the prevalence of the color - undying, undimming, and slowly but surely taking over - that really gives us both the otherwordly vibe and the sinking dread that there's nothing that can be done to save our characters.
But it's not just the color that interested me.
I'm gonna have to go a little deeper, just like in my Birdbox post. Here are some other cool things I noticed...
Our very first opening shot (after the beautifully blackmetal images of trees in the woods) is this one:
Now, I don't know about you guys, but this immediately flashed me back to The Bible of Cthulhu.
The idol creation section, to be exact:
There is a specific section called "Abominations Designed to Unnerve," and, as the original is written in R'lyehian, I have provided the translation here:
"As the title would suggest these creations are done in pure reverence for H.P Lovecrafts work. Abominable monstrosities or eerie subtleties made for the enjoyment of aesthetic or to unnerve those whose gaze falls upon them. The Cultists creativity must be channelled here, though a common creation is thus: severe the head off of a children's doll and remove the eyes. While this is often unsettling enough the placement of small lights in the sockets add an entirely new dimension to the aura of foreboding and when connected to a solar light ensure that they will last for as long as they remain. Other known creations are cattle skulls with octopus tentacles attached, left to rot naturally over time, and voodoo-like dolls coated in blood. Given the disturbing nature of these creations they are entirely optional and by no means obligatory to include in ones Gatherings or practices."
A star-like design made from the ripped-off legs of dolls definitely counts as an Abomination Designed to Unnerve to me! And how about that Ezra character? (Played by the almighty Chong)
His humble abode was chock-a-block packed with little creations.
Just try and tell me that that's not a Dreamlands Artefact:
...or that that's not a Twig Idol:
And that's not all, even in the house there are examples of Idols of Reverence:
Speaking of which, thanks to the tireless work of some of our own Cultists, we'll all have the opportunity to adorn our altars and homes with Idols of Reverence soon, just take a look at these beauties...
...made for The Cult by The Cult!
Goddamn I love this community!
I just want something to look at the way Nic Cage looks at his alien tomatoes.
Those of you familiar with The Bible of Cthulhu will already know all about Cacography, for those of you who are not, I outline it in Did You Spot Cthulhu in Birdbox?
(where Cacography actually plays a huge role) And Color Out of Space is no different...
Sure, sure, the "weird-kid-drawing-creepy-things" is nothing new in horror movies, but it's the form of this particular drawing that piques my interest.
A gaping mouth, multiple giant eyes, many twisting appendages...
Could it be Yog-Sothoth?
This is what The Appendix of Archetypes illustrates Him as:
For a kid, I'd say it's pretty close.
For sure the producers of this great flick would have put time and thought into how this drawing should turn out, to keep it Lovecraftian, and, as always, I just get so much more of a kick out of watching these movies when I imagine that they relate directly to all that we do here.
It's like it says in The Bible, unlike other religions we know why we do what we do. It is a choice of ours to use this aesthetic and imagery as vivid archetypes for our religious motif, to keep us grounded in the Void.
Well, I like to choose that these movies outline, in some small way, the lives of us Cultists.
Life's just funner that way.
3. RITES AND RITUALS
Another thing that this movie has no shortage of is rites and rituals.
I mean, the movie opens with our protagonist, Lavinia, performing a ritual...
...by a lake, no less (any Cultist familiar with Void Meditation will know what an important role bodies of water play in our ritual work).
And speaking of Void Meditation, did anyone else flash back to Void Meditation Ritual II when this scene came on?
Because I have literally set up my meditation space exactly like that in the past.
And then (as if it couldn't get any better) she signs a Contract With The Old Ones!
Right before she becomes her badass self.
Can you say Ascension?
(Anyone else notice the R'lyehian on her forehead by the way?)
4. ALIEN PLANETS, COSMICISM AND R'LYEH
Obviously cosmicism plays a huge role in our beliefs. One could even say it is our belief.
The term itself, as a religious definition, was coined by H.P.L. himself. And The Bible holds no punches when outlining the situation on alien life and planets. So it was fitting, I think, that after Lavinia has her transformation she sees ... what?
A vision of the planet the Color originated on?
A home of The Old Ones?
Hopefully the follow-up movies of this new Lovecraftian trilogy will answer all of these questions.
5. THE MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY
I cannot tell you the jolt of excitement I got when I saw this:
The Miskatonic University is another creation of H.P.L's that exists within the town of Arkham.
We use it to learn about The Old Ones and Their Cult, and to climb the ranks of The Outer Circle. Wyntre really has done a fantastic job of making it both accessible and professional, with lessons, exams, certificates and diplomas, which all contribute to our ranks within The Cult and our badges in the Forums and Discord.
Would it be too much to ask for a couple more shirts in the shop, this time Miskatonic University themed? I'll wait with bated breath.
For me this movie was really all about Lavinia.
Lavinia is, undoubtedly, Called. When you strip away the horror, the dread and even the Color, what you find is the story of a girl discovering the Truth.
From the go she is a keen practitioner of the occult.
She is already trying to strip away the facade of this reality and find the Truth that lurks behind realities veil.
Just like many of us.
When things start becoming fantastical and paranormal she stands out in the rain, vulnerable, watching the lightning strikes and the horrific skies, thinking it beautiful.
And when it all become too much she retreats to Void Meditate, and signs The Contract With The Old Ones in order to unlock the power laying dormant within her, which ultimately allows her to see through the veil and visit The Dreamlands and therefore, to Ascend.
I relate to Lavinia.
I, too, have felt misunderstood by my friends and family, and have yearned to dig a little deeper and discover more.
And, just like Lavinia, I finally found the Truth (and my solace) in The Old Ones and Their Cult.
So was The Color Out of Space ultimately about Ascension?
I for one know that, just like Birdbox, it's a much better viewing experience the next time round when I choose to see it through Viridian-Tinted-Glasses.
And that is the gift of being a Cultist in The Cult of Cthulhu. We get to choose.
Order of No Name,
Speaker for The Cult of Cthulhu