Colour from the Dark : Release Year - 2008

Overall Rating : 7/10

Directed By : Ivan Zuccon

Debbie Rochon (The Good Sisters
Michael Segal (Nympha)
Marysia Kay
Gerry Shanahan

Supplied By : Director Ivan Zuccon

Film Reviewed By : Rick L. Blalock

Date Reviewed : May. 21, 2010


Pietro and Lucia live on an isolated farm with Alice, Lucia's younger sister. Poor farmers, they live tilling the soil. Pietro is a good worker and a strong man who, unlike his three brothers, is not at war because of a deformed knee. Lucia is a beautiful and reserved woman dedicated to her family. Their life is peaceful and good, in spite of the hard work. One day, while drawing water from the well, Pietro and Alice accidentally free something from Earth's womb. A strange and alien color flashes underwater, at the well's bottom, then disappears. From that moment on, inexplicable events start happening all around the farm, and by night the surrounding vegetation glitters with a sinister glow. The color soon takes hold of the whole farm, and dwelling inside Pietro and his family's minds, it brings them into its sick world of pain, blood and death.
The story for COLOUR FROM THE DARK takes us to Italy in 1937, where we meet farmer Pietro, his wife Lucia and young mute sister Alice, whom all live together on a secluded farmstead. The 1930s wartime for Italy as Italy saw themselves at war with the Nazis. Pietro remains working on the farm besides going into war like his brothers because of a crippled knee that he has had since birth, none the less, he still works hard to provide for the family. One day while drawing water from their well, Pietro and Alice set free something from the depths of the well, something resembling a colorful and glowing smoke. Not paying no mind to what occurred, the family is shocked to find that the next day, their once dried up crops have suddenly flourished, growing bigger than ever before. But this is not the only miracle occurrence to happen, as Pietro notices that his bad knee has been suddenly healed, and Alice, who has been mute all of her life, now is unexpectedly talking without a hitch. Out of nowhere, it seems as if just about everything possible is going right for the family. But as soon as the family begins to adjust to this, the miracles are taken away just as fast as they came. The crops suddenly blacken along with the sky as a glow accompanies them. Soon for the family, insanity seeps into their minds. It takes onto Lucia to the fullest it seems as her heart seemingly turns black as she becomes increasingly evil, which eventually causes Pietro to lock up his wife in the barn next to the home. Pietro calls upon a priest to exercise whatever it is taking over Lucia, but it appears that nothing or no one is a match for the power that possesses her. As the war outside continues, so does the war on the inside as the colorful mist that brought the evil begins to spread.

COLOUR FROM THE DARK, is the second feature film that I have seen from Italian filmmaker Ivan Zuccon, the first being NYMPHA, starring Tiffany Shepis. With this film, Zuccon adapts a short story by H.P. Lovecraft entitled COLOUR FROM SPACE. With his film Zuccon alters the original story a bit, making it his own, for example changing the setting from the US, to his native Italy, also gone in the meteor that the short story mentions. In the short, the mysterious colored mist that causes all of the havoc emanates from the fallen rock, while Zuccon opts to take a simpler approach, having it emerge from the well. Personally I like the adjustments made here as Italy makes for an atmospheric backdrop, and having sort of a "haunted well" of sorts is is very fitting within the Horror realm.

Like Zuccon's previous film, NYMPHA, COLOUR FROM THE DARK is as much an art piece as it is a film. There's not a whole lot of dialogue, but there is a ton of gloom and creepy atmosphere. Again with this film, Zuccon serves as his own cinematographer, which is a great thing, because, since he is skilled at both tasks, he is able to set the scenes to his vision and liking. The cinematography and special effects makeup make this a beautiful film to look at. The core of the story basically sees a once peacefully family slowly becoming infected with this disease that we know nothing about. It takes them one by one, and as it gets worse and worse, they began to deteriorate. To do this COLOUR FROM THE DARK employs what i'd call first class work from the effects team. I really dug the ultra-realistic make-up, most in particular the make-up achieved for Debbie Rochon's character Lucia. We watch as Debbie goes from the beautiful Scream Queen and Radio host that we all know, slowly to a thinning and frail being, seemingly possessed by the devil. In other words, it's pretty effectively executed.

I also have to say that in my opinion, the acting in COLOUR FROM THE DARK surpasses the acting that I had previously saw in NYMPHA. As I said, the film's dialogue was not something that the film truly depended o, it was more about the Actors' movements and facial expressions and such, and I think that everyone was required did very well. I have seen Debbie Rochon in a number of films over the years(she's obviously in too many films for me to possibly see them all - she's working all of the time now!), but in this film, Rochon was in top form. It's almost as if you could sense how much fun she had portraying this role - she was really into it, especially when it came to spilling one's blood!

Overall, fitting to Zuccon's style of film making COLOUR FROM THE DARK is yet another bizarre one, but as with NYMPHA, that necessarily isn't a bad thing. Yes there were times that I just didn't get what was going on, but as the film went on, I couldn't help being swept up in the dark atmosphere that Zuccon creates for the film.
4/10 Among the gore scenes is one waking up in a pool of blood after a nose bleed, another in which one cuts and peels their flesh away, a stabbing in the eye with a crucifix, along with a vicious knife attack.
5/10 The film has a booming orchestrated score, that is quite fitting for the film's dark nature, I don't know if it was the score itself, or the film's mastering, but there were a few trips make to the volume button.
When I come away from a Zuccon film it's as if I had just experienced a piece of art work. No this film is not perfect, it's far from it, but as I saw with NYMPHA, Ivan crafted COLOUR FROM THE DARK with both care and an artistic vision. If I were to compare this film to anything, there's a little bit of THE EXORCIST and maybe even a little bit of AMITYVILLE HORROR thrown into the mix...also the makeup effects also reminded me of another great Italian Horror film, SUSPIRIA which was directed by the great Dario Argento. Sure the film does leave some loose ends unresolved, but hey, I can't help it, I really enjoyed myself with this one.

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