General Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

Hello, Spongey here.

…Well, it didn’t take too long for something to catch my interest, as far as General Reviews. Yeah, each plan I just had a couple films I really plan to catch, but a few wild cards will pop up.

Technically that already happened, but I had nothing to say about Gods of Egypt except that it was not very good.

Hopefully that isn’t the case for the case. Of course I was very interested when it randomly popped up a few months, with no promotion or the lake before hand. In this day age, we seem to know about every film like 10 years before cameras even star rolling.

But here they made a flm tied to a sort of popular film, and kept it secret until they were ready to reveal the trailer. That’s really impressive. I’d talk about the orginal Cloverfield movie but…I’ve never seen it.

Yeah, I know but from what I can tell, this isn’t quite a direct sequel, so I won’t need to have seen it. I hope they aren’t wrong. Besides, I think this should stand on it’s merits if it’s going to be different.

Yeah, this sort of but not really sequel is a completely different format, with none of the orginal cast. Usually when this happens, it’s not a good sign (Cough Blair Witch 2 Cough) but this actually looked kind of interesting.

I was interested but I didn’t have a huge desire to see it. It’s not the king of thing I see in theaters, usually. But after some reviews came in, I figured why not. I’ll be seeing enough weird stuff this year, may as well catch something that has currently has 92 on Rotten Tomatoes.

And after last week, I’ve learned to trust a high score. Also, I saw Gods Of Egypt, I’m in no position to skip anything. With a first time director on board, and writers who have worked on Whiplash and….not much else, there’s plenty to be interested in with this one.

But with it’s format and hype, can it manage to be an interesting sort of Horror/Monster romp in it’s own right, or was straying from the formula a bad idea? Let’s take a look.

This, is 10 Cloverfield Lane

The format will be a bit different from the Deadpool review. It’s a bit hard to break it down like I do with typical films, and this review is hard to do as it is. So I’ll keep it simple and just do it normally.

There will still be a final thoughts part, in case you want to know nothing and just want to know how I feel generally.

With that said, here’s the basic plot:

A young woman wakes up after a terrible accident to find that she’s locked in a cellar with a doomsday prepper, who insists that he saved her life and that the world outside is uninhabitable following an apocalyptic catastrophe. Uncertain what to believe, the woman soon determines that she must escape at any cost.

When I heard the basic extent of the plot, I had an idea in my head of what it may be like and how good it could be. The final product…matched that, in a good way. Yep, this sort of risk actually payed off quite well.

Granted, it’s in a sort of basic way given the structure but it still works. As you can imagine, it’s a small story taking place almost entirely in the shelter with only three characters. We only go outside like twice and it’s not exact a big chance.

This means it really has to rely on you liking the lead and buying into the premise. It’s supposed to be a tense and claustrophobic experience, and while that’s usually good, sometimes it can make the film boring if handled poorly.

Thankfully, this handles it well. There really isn’t a lot in the way of action but it keeps things interesting with how things build. Of course it has you guessing what Howard’s whole deal is and going through some phases, revealing more about what could be going in.

Anyone can set up something like this and reveal small things, without really knowing what they are doing. While it’s not exactly perfect, this is an example that does it well enough. It reveals just enough and keeps you in suspense for most of the runtime.

It helps the charecters are likable enough to keep things afloat. With a limited cast like this, you really have to make sure they do it well or the whole thing falls apart. Thankfully, Michelle is a decently likable lead.

Granted, it’s not hard to sympathize with someone going through this kind of stuff, and while she’s not exactly complex, the director (and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, of course) manage to get you invested in what she’s going through.

Emmet, this other guy in the shelter who helped Howard make it, is the closest to a comic relief this has but he doesn’t go overboard, and he helps create some levity in the right places. He seems to be as in the dark as anyone else, which works. Some bits with him are predictable but otherwise, he’s fine.

But as everyone else says, the standout is John Goodman as Howard. It’s important to get someone who can be creepy while also having a kind of comforting nature, and he pulls that off perfectly.

He pulls some of the lighter moments well, but he’s damn good at being very creepy and suspicious, while not being obviously so. It’s a good balance, and the best scenes use him very well.

While this is a sort of Horror/Thrill film, there are minor bits of comedy in the right places. Nothing too crazy, just a few moments for levity to make you think things are okay. Perhaps one bit is slightly too much but overall it works when things need to calm down.

The film certainly does a good job at keeping the suspense high, with some well directed well moments such as the entire opening bits. This kind of thing kind of needs to be like that so you’ll get into the scenario and it works.

As for the story, without spoiling it we do find some interesting things that work. I can’t say anything without giving naything away, so I’ll keep quiet on it. But the story bits we have do work. We don’t find out everyone’s lfie story or anything, but it’s just enough for me to care and want to find out more.’

But as I said, it’s not perfect. These are mostly things that could bug others rather than me, but they are worth pointing out. Not everyone into the slower stuff, so may find it a bit boring in spots, or that it may urn a bit too long.

At roughly 100 minutes it’s paced well, but some could some parts unnecessary. In the end it doesn’t’ matter due to how the payoff is, but it’s something to keep in mind. Some may also be able to predict some elements, but it’s not exactly a big grand mystery for most of it.

It’s not eye rolling predictable, and some surprises do happen. The big point of contention might be the ending. Without spoiling it, some may not like the explanation we get for some of this and find it a bit anti climatic.

For me, it worked well enough. It was an exciting finale with a decent closing. But I get why some may find it underwhelimg. Just remember I’m not the best critic when it comes to this kind of movie to begin with.

Other possible problems are spoilers, so I won’t say more. Just keep some of this in mind as this kind of thing isn’t for everyone. Btu given the reviews, most people don’t have these problems and were just sucked in, all the to the credits.

Speaking of which , I don’t know if there’s a post credits scene. I left when they rolled because I figured i’d have to deal with enough post credits stuff once the Comic Book movies roll in.

That and it’s gonna get leaked anyway, if there is one. I also don’t know if there any hidden connections to Cloverfield, as I haven’t’ seen it like I said. I didn’t’ spot many obvious ones, based on what I know from the trailer and such.

With all that said, that’s pretty much all I got. Yeah, it’s hard to go into detail without spoiling anything major. Really, it’s a wonder I didn’t mention anything when discussing Howard. There’s only so much I can say about a film this simple anyway.

It is what it is, really.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I really liked this movie. While it has it’s clunky moments, and not everyone while get into it due to it’s nature. I found it to be a very suspenseful and tense sort of thriller, with some solid mystery and one John Goodman’s best perfomrnaces in years.

Again, I’m not the first to talk to when it comes to this kind of thing, but for my tastes, it was very solid and interesting. It’s a good stand alone film with some great moments. It’s not 100 percent my type of thing so the grade may be lower than it deserves, but this grade tends to go to things people love more than me anyway.

I’d recommend it to those who like this kind of small thriller and maybe fans of Cloverfield, if you can forgive the change in format. Although honestly, it could have worked as a found footage movie, but that’s just me.

Based on the reviews, everyone else seems to dig it, so check it out if you can. A little surprise this well marketed doesn’t come very often., proving why JJ Abrams is one of the best when it comes to keeping things under wraps, even if he only produced this one.

Grade: B+

Sorry for the shorter review, it’s not the kind of thing I tend to talk a lot about. I wrote this to stretch myself a bit more, broaden my horizons a bit more, you know? Hopefully you’ll get more in two weeks when we get a possible epic. Weather it’s of the failure variety remains to be seen.

Tell me how I did with this one, and we’ll see how many other smaller reviews like this I do.

See ya.

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About Spongey444

I'm 20 and I'm a slightly below average man who can barely spell. I mostly spend my time watching TV and movies, hence why i ended doing a blog all about those things. I tend to have weird tastes, but I like think I'm just fair on things.
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