10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)


Pros
  • John Goodman is a frightening, force of nature!
  • Makes ordinary situations scary as hell (you think board games are boring? Think again)
  • One of the more tense movies I've seen in theaters in a long time
  • Plenty of twists and turns that turn the tension up to a solid 10
  • A subtle nod to Super 8 (a film also produced by Bad Robot)
  • Very unpredictable, which is always a great trait for a movie to possess
  • A good original score
  • The final image really does set up endless possibilities (which will most likely tie into the original film a bit more)
  • If you are a fan of mystery movies this should certainly keep you guessing as the minutes fly by

Cons
  • I still think attaching the word 'Cloverfield' to the title was a cheap gimmick to sell tickets
  • An uncountable amount of close up shots of actors faces
  • The final 15 minutes switches ideas and leaves a sour taste in the mouth (this one hurt a lot)
  • Shaky-cam at the end (it's very brief why totally avoidable)

Score: 8/10

I'll get this out of the way early, I firmly believe using the word 'Cloverfield' in the title was solely to sell tickets. Now you can infer this in two ways, one being that the movie isn't sci-fi and there are no monsters/aliens so it makes no sense to mention the two in the same sentence. Or two, there are monsters/aliens but the story itself doesn't relate to the original film. I won't tell you which one it is, the point is, there was no real need to draw comparison to 2008's Cloverfield. This movie could have been its own thing (and it probably would have been better for it).

As for this movie, it's pretty damn great! John Goodman is fantastic here, he's already got the body size to scare any sensible human being but his acting is certainly on point. He is a walking, talking, tension radiating, thug. At any single moment he can snap and the movie plays with this notion a lot! And to balance that out, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is the likable, vulnerable damsel in distress if you will. Together the make a great duo for a very, very engrossing cat and mouse game.

Outside the praise of Goodman, it is the script that shines. There are some serious 'oh my god' moments that take things to the next level. Just when you think everything has been solved, the movie throws you another curveball to keep you guessing. Once the first 'bomb' (not literally) is dropped, the movie goes from a mild thriller to a bone shaking puzzler. It's at this point of no return that the movie is most enjoyable as we watch the characters piece together their situation and we just sit back and watch the mayhem take over. I hope I'm not over selling anything but the movie really does keep you on your toes!

10 Cloverfield Lane really came out of nowhere and that's always nice to see. It's certainly reminiscent of Joel Edgarton's The Gift. Not story wise, but both are a directorial debut featuring a mystery/thriller narrative. And they both received good reviews and critic response (eerily similar scores if you really break it down). It's really a pleasure to have modest expectations for a film, only to be blown away. This is one of those films, as long as you go into the movie knowing it's only a 'blood relative' to Cloverfield and nothing more.


Comments

  1. If this had a different title and different ending, which according to the leaked script there were no aliens or monsters at all in this movie with a completely different ending. I may have liked it more.

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    1. I really liked it (outside of the super disappointing ending). I didn't even talk about it in the review because it involves a ton of spoilers. I agree tho, there was no need to attach the word 'Cloverfield' to the title, that alone is basically a spoiler for the ending (and borderline irrelevant). There was so much great build up and tension within the bunker, then they just abandoned it?!

      Do you happen to know the ending of the original story??

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  2. "Winstead finally finds out from the bearded guy and John Goodmen what happened to the world. Iran got ahold of a stockpile of nuclear/chemical weapons and then they detonated those bombs in major cities. The majority of the outside world is now covered with radiation and chemical fallout. They also find out that the the bunker's ventilation system can't support more then 2 people. Winstead doesn't believe them and thinks that John Goodman is a pervert so she rebels. After a whole bunch of in-fighting and running around amongst the 3 of them, the bearded dude is killed by Goodman , and Winstead stabs/shoots Goodman and escapes with a hazmat suit. She steals a truck and drives down an empty highway towards Chicago. She drives for a while until she can see the city in the distance, she then gets out of the car and the camera pans around to show a devastated chicago skyline. Cut to black and credits roll". The movie was originally called The Cellar.

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    1. Thanks for the PDF! Hmmm that's a lot different than I was expecting! I feel conflicted now haha

      Do you like that ending more?

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  3. Here's the script,

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ptev6rti1jrj3v9/Cellar%2C%20The%20-%20Josh%20Campbell%20%26%20Matt%20Stuecken%20-%204.11.12.pdf?dl=0&preview=Cellar%2C+The+-+Josh+Campbell+%26+Matt+Stuecken+-+4.11.12.pdf

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  4. I like the old ending kinda better. I think it would be better without the aliens and Cloverfield name. Sine they had to included the name I would have liked it more if they tied it to Cloverfield somehow in end. I do understand they are trying to do something like Twilight Zone with this. Did you change the score for this to 7/10 then to 8/10? Maybe I'm seeing things.

    What ending do you like more?

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    1. I did change the score lol, while writing it I was on the fence between 7 and 8 and went with 7 initially. But giving it some time to sink in, I think since 80-85% of the movie is awesome, the 8 is justified. I haven't seen a movie that tense (in theaters) in a long time! I really loved how unpredictable it was. (It was a sneaky move, I apologize)

      As for the ending, I actually don't like either that much ha, but if I was forced to choose, probably the original ending. But I have so many ideas running through my head that I think are better! I could type out one or two if you want haha?!

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  5. Yeah, I'd like to hear some of your ideas that'd be cool.

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    1. (Obviously take these with a grain of salt because not everything is explained lol) Here are two and neither tie into Cloverfield, unfortunately.

      She escapes in the suit and questions the air quality, first thing she does is run to the cars but can't find the keys. She then notices something 'strange' about the dead pigs. She walks over to them and notices they are 'fake' made of plastic. She then walks over to the corn and that too is fake, made of plastic. She doesn't know what the hell is going on but takes off the mask thinking everything is fine and is relieved knowing there is no gas or toxin in the air.

      Now you could have two scenarios after this.....

      1. She can't find keys so she goes into the house to find some. While there notices all the pictures in the house and the mail are of a different family and different names. This isn't Howard's house. She gets more confused and finds some keys and exits the house, only to get knocked out by Howard. She wakes up back in the bunker (which never blew up or burnt down, just the acid spill happened.) as Howard (disfigured) is handcuffing her to the pipes. She begs him to stop (or begs for answers!!) and he responds with nothing but "Brittany was so much easier than you". End

      2.She goes into the house to find keys and is surprised to find the woman who was 'infected' earlier. They talk, scuffle and the girl takes off and tries to run away (didn't get the keys) only to run into a wall (that she thought was a road/driveway). Turns out this 'farm area' is just the upper (giant level) of another bunker that is underground as well. (sort of like the truman show, but not the size of a city, just a small patch of land). - This one is pretty far out there I know, but would be crazy!!

      Or something else I thought of just now, more sinister. Is when the lady shows up at the bunker have her infected but coughing a few times (showing she's sick). Then at the very end of the movie (whatever ending you want but the main girl needs to escape). You see the main girl in the car let out a tiny, subtle cough or two. And then end. Leave it be one of those ambiguous endings where the air could actually be toxin but takes hours to infect you. So the viewer doesn't know if she is infected or not! (This requires the ending NOT having the giant ship spray gas)

      See there are just so many possibilities! It's crazy. What do you think? Very brief ideas, but yeah.

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    2. These are all great ideas. I could see any of them happening. I have thought of ones that are connected to Cloverfield and ones that are not. Some of yours are kinda similar to mine. There's so many ending variations for this. There's one I came up with that I think is awesome, but wouldn't want to see the next Cloverfield come out and go what the... I came up with that. Maybe it's not that good ha.

      I guess there are some connections with Cloverfield that I didn't notice.

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    3. Bad Robot is probably monitoring what people are saying taking ideas for where they are going with the next Cloverfield project.

      Some are saying that God Particle 2017 could possibly be another Cloverfield movie. I doubt it.

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    4. Yeah I could see Bad Robot scanning the internet for ideas lol. I just hope this 'anthology universe' idea doesn't become the norm because that will drive me crazy. 'Relating' movies to one another just to sell tickets or something.

      Think if Drive (2011) came out and the marketing teams were like 'it's a spiritual sequel to the Fast and Furious Franchise'! I could see it happening just to sell tickets (where one of the movies is already a big brand)!

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  6. Netflix April 8th Hush starring John Gallagher Jr. Emmet from 10 Cloverfield you should do a review.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_P8WCbhC6s

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    1. Oh wow that could be good! I'm surprised that's hitting Netflix so soon (it says it's at SXSW currently)

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  7. Will you be buying this on Blu-ray?

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    1. I actually don't buy movies anymore. I probably average 1 bluray a year now! (I think I own less than 12!). I had a ton of DVDs but sold a lot at a garage sale. The most recent blurays I bought were It Follows & The Babadook!

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  8. Are you Borgman on Bloody Disgusting?

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