Jonathan travels to Germany to find his missing father only to meet a man with an extraordinary tale to tell, one which Jonathan's father was part of. The tale leads back to the days before WWII in a small town. A meteorite crashes down on the fields and not even the scientists can figure out what it is. But as time goes by, people nearby start to act strange.
Seeing how this is a film adaption of Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space", I imagine you might want me to tell you how true it is to the story. But I can't. I've read about 5-10 of Lovecraft's stories, but this was not one of them. I can, however, tell you that people who seem to be "in the know" say that it stays fairly true. A few changes have been made such as time and location, but nothing major. But one thing is for sure - if you compare it to adaptions such as "Re-Animator", "Lurking Fear", "The Unnamable" and a handful of other ones, this is definitely much more subtle. It's not about sea monsters, zombies, splatter or anything like this.
When Jonathan's father disappears, he manages to trace him to Germany and the right town. However, when he gets there no one is able to help him. Except for one man who starts to tell him a story that is out of this world. The story takes place before WWII and his father is connected to it as he was a soldier. He tells him about how a meteorite crashed into a field near his family's farm, and the meteorite soon came to change everything. Plants and trees starts acting strange, fruit became abnormally large. But the most weird thing is how it seems to affect humans. They start to wander around as if their mind was somewhere else, and they get sick. The man telling the story was never affected by this strange virus that was going around, but his life has not been the same since. We quickly understand that these events have something to do with Jonathan's father, and it might explain his strange behaviour.
I think what I enjoyed the most about the film was the black and white photography - the cinematography overall is quite fantastic. The movie focuses heavily on nature and the environment, and it does it in a way that actually makes sense. It's not just a way to make it artistic or give it a nice runtime. It's something that slowly becomes part of the story, and it also builds a lot of atmosphere when we get to know the surroundings a bit. I can only hope that the makers of this film continue to put as much focus on style, details and look in their future work as they did with this one. I should also mention that even the black and white makes sense as the strange activities end up showing themselves through one single color, the only color in the film, which is pink. It's quite effective, even though I think it looked too computer generated at times.
Storywise I think it would have worked a lot better as a short film as I feel that it drags things out a bit, sometimes it feels like it repeats itself even. I don't know how the original story was, but I would have wanted to see more tension within the family, so that we'd really feel how hard it is to see your loved ones become brain damaged. I didn't feel that I was really invested in the characters here. Most of the film is really well-made, the acting is good, it looks good, it has a creepy atmosphere, but that's one thing that never worked for me - I didn't really care about the characters. It made it feel longer than it is, and that's not a good thing.
But "Die Farbe" is definitely worth checking out. It's a good Lovecraft adaption (apparently it stays true to the story) that is chuck-full of style and creepiness. It's easy to zone out at times and just look at the great cinematography, and I suppose never really feeling close to the characters is part of the reason for that. The atmosphere is probably the essence of what "Die Farbe" is - it works as a period piece, it feels isolated, and the subtle changes after the meteorite crash helps build horror that isn't too "far out". If you want an interesting little sci-fi story, or just want to watch a film that is seemingly true to Lovecraft's vision, then there's no reason to skip this one. All in all, a great effort with a lot of focus on style and detailing.