10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr.
Directed By: Dan Trachtenburg
Written By: Josh Campbell
Release Date: March 11, 2016
Summary: A young woman awakens to find herself held captive by a man who tells her the end of the world has happened and that she cannot leave because there's no world to leave to.
My Thoughts: Before we begin, I've never seen the original Cloverfield. I just heard it wasn't really a sequel to the film and I decided to rent it and see what was going on and I feel like that's a correct assumption to make. From my basic knowledge of Cloverfield, I know it's this sci-fi, horror flick and this is not that. There are sci-fi elements and things that hint at a scientific, fanatical presence, but this film isn't a sci-fi, horror flick like it's so-called predecessor. This film is a intense thriller that has you questioning things, people and their motives and that's what the movie revolves around, not so much aliens, monsters or whatever the hell Cloverfield revolves around.
We start the film with his beautiful introduction sequence that not only is my favorite part of the film because of it's beautiful, quick and fast-paced direction which I could say for the whole film, but this introduction really sets up the protagonist's (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) character arc. She's gotten into a fight with her boyfriend or fiance (I can't remember), who is played by a lovely, Bradley Cooper, and decides to just run away. She packs her bags and leaves and after gassing up her car for the long ride, she gets into a car accident and awakens to herself being chained in Howard's (John Goodman) basement. He begins to tell her that he saved her life and that she is there because the air is unbreathable and some sort of apocalypse has begun and that's the mystery behind 10 Cloverfield Lane. Is Howard telling the truth? Or is he some kind of maniac chaining people to walls?
It's an interesting premise for sure even though at times it felt like things were happening way to fast and that it was trying to be bigger than what it really was, but what is the most interesting about it is how human it feels. This could actually happen and it feels like it is actually happening. Like the Mary Elizabeth Winstead's character, we don't know what is going on and that uneasy feeling we get that maybe something isn't right is reinforced by the powerhouse performance that John Goodman puts on. He goes from being a man who is genuinely concerned for our protagonist to a complete psychopath in literally an instant, so that upper the creep factor immensely. There was no reading that you could get from this guy from his voice, facial reaction or anything else, so you just have to wait until it's finale to figure out whether or not he was telling the truth, but while he was great and we can't forget the other characters in the film who were also well, he blew me away in this movie. And speaking of other characters, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is terrific as our helpless protagonist who turns out to be quite smart and resourceful and also turns out to be a character we can root for. As for the other guy, John Gallhager Jr, his character was nonexistent and by that I mean that he didn't really have any essence to him. There was barely any backstory to him and he felt...just...there, which was quite sad as we was good in his dialogue and etc, so he felt a little underused in the movie.
Furthermore, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a movie I enjoyed and would gladly watch again. There are theories, hint and clues scattered both across the Internet and in the film that piece things together that I haven't gotten yet, but I hope to on my second watch in, so it's great that you can go in and watch this movie again and again and see and notice different things that you didn't catch the last time.This movie is a beautiful, intense thriller that keep is fast-paced and well as chilling. While you don't need to see the original film to watch this one, don't go in thinking you're getting the monster flick that it is because you'll be never disappointed, but don't miss out on this film because of that.