I've read somewhere that when Lovecraft set out to write The Colour Out of Space, he wanted to write about an alien entity, that was actually alien and unknown. Because Lovecraft realized that if you used the same caricature of a grey alien every time that you wrote an alien/UFO story it wasn't going to be scary at all. And besides, the word alien refers to something absolutely foreign and unknown, and after awhile being told something is alien, doesn't make it so.
But Lovecraft did it. He created a terrifying entity that mere humans can't fully comprehend.
And even the most beautiful visual attempts at portraying it don't truly do this creature justice. But then again, that's what makes it work.
Here is the Goodreads description:
The Colour Out of Space is a 1st-person narrative written from the perspective of an unnamed Boston surveyor. To prepare for the construction of a new Massachusetts reservoir, he surveys a rural area that's to be flooded near the fictional town of Arkham. He comes across a mysterious patch of land, an abandoned 5-acre farmstead completely devoid of life. At the centre of the farmstead is an old well. The site fills him with an unnatural sense of dread. He hurries past it.
When he returns to Arkham, the surveyor asks around for information regarding the waste. He learns of an elderly hermit, Ammi Pierce, & asks him about the "blasted heath". The hermit tells him a horrific tale.
In the early 1880s, the farm had been productive, run by a Nahum Gardner & his family. Then, one afternoon in 6/1882, a large meteorite crashed into the farm, beside the well. It was metallic & contained a substance of an indescribable color that proved toxic. While scientists were never able to tell what the meteor contained, its effects were undeniable--the entire Gardner family was struck by insanity, illness & worse, whilst the land around them was slowly drained of life.
When it says it drove the family mad it really means it. By the end of Pierce's story every family member is dead, having been turned into horrific versions of their once normal selves. And the animals around the farm have been mutated, with the plant life having been mutated too.
Truly horrific isn't it?
And by the end of Pierce's story the horror comes to a head.
I love this story, and it's actually my favorite Lovecraft story and has one of the best monsters I've ever read of. There is a reason Lovecraft, his own worst critic, loved it so much and thought it was his best story he'd ever written, you know?
5 stars to this beauty.