The arrival of 10 Cloverfield Lane came out of left field for me. I was so wrapped up in Star Wars madness, I did not see it coming. Synopsis: A woman gets into an accident on a country road and ends up in an underground bunker. While she is not exactly being held captive, it appears that due to an apocalypse event there is nowhere else to go.
A secret J.J. Abrams movie? A containment thriller? John Goodman?? All roads point to yes! I love thrillers, all thrillers. So I was hyped to sit down with this one!
And boy did it deliver on those pieces, with Goodman displaying the right mix of aw shucks everyman and terrifyingly aggressive bigman and the thrills building and building all the way to the climax.
“JJ, don’t Beyonce my movies!”
In the realm of containment thrillers you have to do a lot with very little. The characters are stuck together in close quarters, and as the story progresses it becomes harder to keep the audience’s attention. Through the natural peaks and valleys of action we need the valleys to be entertaining. Insert small conversations giving us character backstories.
“Hi I’m Emmet, I’m a small town farmer, isn’t that cool?”
These characters are at best entry level screenwriting characters. While I knew someone was going to die (it is a thriller), I found myself hoping they all would, maybe together, in one fell swoop.
The dialogue also isn’t winning any awards… somewhere throughout the movie, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was a Shyamalan movie. So eerily similar I was waiting for him to show up as a disposable character. WHERE IS MY TWIST ON TWIST ENDING?
“Wait, who made this movie?”
The first Cloverfield movie was polarizing. While there were a lot of issues, I loved it for the found footage adventure it was. One thing I was hoping to see was the adorable little chitalu clover-babies they find in the subway system.
“ CAN I HAS CHEEZBURGER?”
Instead what I got was a weird metal dog thing and an octopus spaceship thing. It was cool to see more of the alien race, but I would have appreciated some little baby chitalu love.
There is a lot this movie does well. It is a well-paced thriller that ties into the Cloverfield franchise nicely. Although most of the time I found the next incident rather predictable, there were some great gems of scenes. The best way to describe this is it felt like a M. Knight Shyamalan movie without the mega fall off your couch twist at the end. I would recommend this movie to thriller lovers, fans of the first film, and apocalypse movie fans in general!
10 Cloverfield Lane Movie Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever a colloquial proverb is spouted as regular dialogue.
Take a Drink: whenever Goodman reminds everyone how lucky they are.
Do a Shot: every time Megan is mentioned.