by Samantha Shuma
The rest of this analysis will contain spoilers for The Color Out of Space. This film is a horror movie, which may contain some material of blood and gore. Reader discretion is advised.
The family is basically doomed from the start, as the mental battle against the Color is already impossible to overcome. Their resulting mental state makes it impossible to be rational, but their minds aren’t the only thing affected by the Color. The environment surrounding the home along with the family’s physical bodies are heavily affected as well. The physical transformation everything goes through makes the Color not only a threat to the family, but to the whole planet. The meteorite the Color travels from is not made of any kind of rock we would recognize. It’s made out of some plastic material that dissolves over time. As the meteorite dissolves into the ground, the Color fuses into the surrounding land. This affects the growing of plants, which affects the animals. There are alpacas, a horse and a dog on the property. The horse and the dog become hostile and run away. The alpacas have a worse fate, from rooted grass and drinking the Color filled water, they get very sick. They lose their form as their bodies melt, eventually creating a slimy pile of unrecognizable flesh and bone. When Nathan goes to check on the alpacas, their form does not immediately bother him. It isn’t until their screaming makes him angry that he puts them out of their misery. If anyone in their right mind saw them, they would have ran, but Nathan didn’t seem to care. The fact that the family’s mind is being taxed so heavily by the Color makes it impossible for them to act rationally to run away or defend themselves.
The video below has content that may disturb some readers, discretion is advised.
The fact that the Color is incomprehensible makes it uncontrollable by anything on Earth. Since the Gardeners cannot process the Color fully, they have no means to fight against. Going back to the example of a Zenomorph from Alien, we can tell just by looking at it that it is dangerous. Its sharp claws and teeth make it anybody’s worst nightmare. Since we can look at it and understand it, we can find the Zenomorph’s weakness and ultimately kill it (as it is killed at the end of almost every Alien movie). Think back to the Color, it’s only physical representation is a misty gas of a color that doesn’t exist. The family never realizes there is something exterrestrial in their mists, the Color is never seen as a friend or a threat, making it impossible for the family to fight against.
A typical alien movie would have a crew on a spaceship fighting a slimy, flesh eating monster, but the Color is something much scarier than that. Although we the audience can see it, it is an unknown killer to the Gardeners. We see how it makes them hurt themselves and act aggressively towards each other, but they never realize what is happening themselves. Even when they do try to leave, they forget that they were trying to leave and mindlessly go off to do something else. Their minds wither away as the Color seeps into their air, water and plants. The Color isn’t something the anyone’s mind can really process. We do not know how to react when we cannot discern something as good or evil. As the film shows, we wouldn’t react at all. The family goes around like everything is okay, even as Nathan sits in an empty room talking to herself or Benny going down the well to save the dog (which isn’t down there).Their minds change as their environment changes, making the whole reality in around the home slowly change as the Color becomes more powerful. Everything, body, mind and environment, all changing at once helps the family adjust into insanity, making it easy for the Color to control them, shape them and kill them.
Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Why Magenta Is Not a Color of the Spectrum. 2019, www.thoughtco.com/what-is-the-wavelength-of-magenta-606166.