In 2008, a found footage creature feature hit cinemas screens called Cloverfield! Now in 2016, whilst not a direct sequel, we have 10 Cloverfield Lane which is described as a blood relative of that film.
Now, we have to be honest and say we struggle really badly with Found Footage films, suffering from motion sickness from the rapid camera movement so we were not fans of the original after seeing it on the big screen, I have found though that these films often do work on smaller screens for me so maybe I will revisit it on the strength of this film.
That being said, we should explain why not liking Cloverfield, we decided to see this film! Simply because of its marketing campaign, we first heard of this film just some 2 months ago and now it in cinemas! We’ve not had a year of promotion, we didn’t get a teaser of a teaser trailer, in fact all we got a simple trailer which got us intrigued and gave nothing away other than make us try and work how it was connected to that original film.
The film opens with Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead: best known for her Scream Queen roles in films like Final Destination 3; Death Proof and The Thing prequel or as Lucy, the daughter of Die Hard’s John McClane in sequels 4 and 5, we probably know her best for her role in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) having made the decision to leave her partner, Ben, who we only hear via phone calls (voiced by Bradley Cooper)
Whilst driving, she is distracted by one of his calls and is involved in a car crash (never use phones whilst driving lesson to be learned here!) She wakes to find she is chained up to a wall and on a drip following nasty injuries from the car crash.
We find that she is in a bunker underground and was brought here by Howard (John Goodman) and we immediately assume she has been kidnapped. Despite Howard claiming the leg is chained to help it reset etc.
It is a testament to the incredible performance of Goodman as Howard, who we know more for comedy roles such as King Ralph; The Flintstones; Monsters Inc and BMAF secret favourite Coyote Ugly, that we think he does have Michelle’s well being at heart but we do not know the reasons why.
Also in the bunker, is Emmett (played by John Gallagher Jnr, probably best know for his role in TV show, The Newsroom) We again question Howard, as Emmett has a broken arm but we learn he is the bunker voluntarily after strange events have occurred outside.
Michelle, whilst in an argument over dinner, distracts Howard enough to get his keys. She makes a break for it, only to find a badly scarred woman outside, desperate to get in. We suddenly believe that being kept in the bunker is saving her life!
Again, we can not describe how brilliant John Goodman is in this film, whilst seeing the victim, and knowing the events of Cloverfield, we believe that he had saved Michelle yet we also have in the back of our minds that this victim may have even been staged by Howard.
The film tagline is Monsters come in many forms, and it will be down to you to decide if Howard is a monster. He clearly has some issues with past losses and needs some professional help. Yet he has saved Michelle from the events outside, for reasons that we learn later in the film. You will find giving him a lot of sympathy, despite him being portrayed as the movie’s bad guy.
The film has some great twist and turns, especially when you believe Howard’s intentions to be good are thrown out due to a shocking discovery by Michelle when fixing the air filtration unit.
The first time director Dan Trachtenberg does a fantastic job and could be one to watch for in the future. Original Cloverfield director Matt Reeves would go on to make Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the Let the Right One In remake, Let me In.
Also, Bear McCreary deserves lots of credit too, for his fantastic music score for the film.
I have tried to consider if this film would be as good without the Cloverfield connection. Had this been a film
Had this been a film with Michelle being chained up and told events outside meant she couldn’t leave, not sure we would believe it, but the fact we had seen a film where the world has been attacked by a giant monster, we accept this could be true. The ending of this film will greatly sway audiences, simply for its change of style but it can not take away this great tense film with incredible performances, as we said in our header, 10 Cloverfield Lane is really (John)
The ending of this film will greatly sway audiences, simply for its change of style but it can not take away from this great tense film with incredible performances, as we said in our header, 10 Cloverfield Lane is really (John) Good man. It is a performance worthy of Oscar like recognition
We hope that the Cloverfield franchise will keep surprising us with great films like this and we also wish other movies would learn from its minimal exposure and trailer campaign
10 Cloverfield Lane is in cinemas now rated 12a
Cloverfield is currently available on Netflix or to by from Amazon here: http://amzn.to/1RqDH3X
Have you seen 10 Cloverfield Lane? Did you like the ending? Would you wish films had less trailers these days? We’d love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About films
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