Update/My Thoughts On: 10 Cloverfield Lane

Ok, I have some explaining to do.  First, the reason I didn’t have a review for last Monday ( the 14th) was because I needed to watch Cloverfield before I saw 10 Cloverfield Lane.  It took FOREVER for the DVD to get to my house, so I was delayed.  I did review and publish Seven Samurai a few days earlier, which was to be the substitute.  Secondly, I didn’t choose to review Miracles from Heaven over Allegiant just because Miracles is a Christian movie.  I hate Divergent.  I couldn’t even make it through the entirety of the first movie!  Aside from being a rip-off of The Hunger Games (admit it, Divergent fans), the plot is annoyingly slow, the blandness of the acting would give Kevin Costner a run for his money, and the characters were either stereotypes or forgettable.  Sorry guys, I’m bailing on Allegiant.  In the meantime, I saw 10 Cloverfield Lane, and it’s awesome!

Partially written by the writer of Whiplash (Damien Chazelle), 10 Cloverfield Lane stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, and John Gallagher Jr.  Premise-A woman (Winstead) has a car accident and wakes up to find that she is in a bunker with two men who tell her that the outside world is no longer safe, but can she trust them?

This movie is 2016’s It Follows.  It takes many horror concepts (and even a few clichés) and adds genuine suspense and creativity to create something new and original.  The plot is a brilliant combination of many horror sub-genres: claustrophobia/close-quarters, psychological terror, post-apocalypse, and a few others I can’t say because it would spoil the movie.  The best part about the story is that it keeps you guessing.  Never once was I correct in predicting a twist, a scare, or the ending (which is incredibly difficult to do, especially with horror).  By the way, this movie has nothing to do with the original Cloverfield movie (bar a hidden Easter egg I might have missed).  Don’t let the title (or J.J. Abrams attached name) fool you; it’s an entirely new storyline.  So yes, that literally means I had to sit through Cloverfield‘s terrible pacing and acting all for nothing (crap).  I didn’t know this because I don’t typically watch trailers or read plot synopsis’ (it shapes expectation, and I want to watch every movie as unbiased as possible in the theatre).

Let’s talk about the acting, specifically John Goodman.  My gosh, he gives one of the most terrifying performances in any horror movie ever made!  This is an Oscar (nomination) worthy performance!  His character is very complex, but Goodman manages to perfectly transition between charming, terrifying, funny, and threatening every time there is a cut.  I will legitimately be ticked off if he isn’t nominated, because the movie is worth watching just to see him!  The rest of the cast (aka three other actors) is fine.  Winstead is fine, and Gallagher Jr. is fine, then again I’m probably just overjoyed about John Goodman (with good reason).

The opening of 10 Cloverfield Lane is done without dialog (using visual storytelling very well), and the writing as a whole is solid.  It does bear more than one resemblance to Misery, but the abundance of concepts and creativity tells me that they were not trying to rip off Misery.  But the best part about this movie is that there are no jumpscares.  I cannot stress that enough, this is a horror movie (modern day horror no less) that has not a single jumpscare!  I was expecting one every other scene, but each time they surprised me by building tension instead of throwing some loud sound effect in my face (even It Follows was guilty of that).  The score is haunting, and the F/X whilst cheap, are not overused.

The only thing I didn’t like about this movie was the ending.  The climax goes on for too long, some laws of physics are completely ignored, and it’s pretty much the definition of “we’re trying way too hard to force a sequel,” logic.  It should have ended more ambiguously; it’s a blemish on an otherwise extraordinary film.  10 Cloverfield Lane gets Guy’s Guru Grade of an A-.


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