New direction. So this is about a girl who gets into a car accident (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). When she awakens, she finds herself in an underground bunker with two men (John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr.) who say that they are stuck there, as there has been a chemical attack on the outside world. When they dropped the trailer for this, they got my full attention immediately. The original Cloverfield is my favorite monster movie, and the fact that J.J. Abrams and company were able to keep this completely under wraps until a mere two months from the actual release date is an incredible feat in this day and age. I went out of my way to keep myself in the dark about this, because I wanted no spoilers whatsoever, but I did offhandedly read that this is not a direct sequel, but more of a “blood relative”. With that in mind, I excitedly watched this, and I was really able to get into it.
It’s probably not 100% what you are expecting.
Now I am going touch upon a few things regarding the story itself, so if you wanted to go in as cold as I did, now would be the time to stop reading, although I will still avoid spoilers. This is much closer to a bottle or a locked room drama than it is a monster movie, and on the spectrum of things, this falls way closer to a something like The Disappearance of Alice Creed than it does to the original Cloverfield. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you, both of those movies are great in their own right, but they are two radically different things, and I didn’t expect them to be coming together like they did here. I would say that if you walked into this expecting a big monster movie, you could potentially be disappointed, which leads to a question I asked myself: did this need to be called Cloverfield? It’s so much a departure from the handheld original that it could stand on its own, but, at the same time, you do have to prepare the audience and not completely blindside them with science fiction elements, so it kind of has to have the title. Bottom line is that I did appreciate this new spin on things.
It really feels like they are gearing up to make this series much bigger.
10 Cloverfield Lane moves very fast and keeps you guessing at all times. The dynamic to the relationships between these three characters are always shifting, and I honestly did not know where this was going to go after the first act wrapped up. I was constantly trying to figure out character motivation, which is exactly what you want out of a mystery. This whole movie has this nervous energy about it, which makes sense, because one of the screenplay writers was the man behind Whiplash, Damien Chazelle. While this something extremely different than Cloverfield, I was kept engaged the entire time and I was very satisfied with what they did here, and this is coming from somebody who is a die hard fan of the original.
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) ****
– Critic for Hire
Want to see where this fell in my list of best films of the 2016? See for yourself here.