By: Joe Jodoin
Eight years after the original Cloverfield was released in 2008, a new iteration of the movie has hit the big screen, but surprisingly, not as a sequel. Just by watching the trailer, there seems to be no connection to the original whatsoever. Producer J.J. Abrams has said that 10 Cloverfield Lane is “a blood-relative” to the original. I was very interested to see the movie and figure out how these two seemingly unrelated movies are connected.
A lot about this movie has made me very excited. First of all, nobody even knew this movie existed until the first trailer dropped in January. The trailer was also fantastic, and left a lot of mystery surrounding what the film was really about. Abrams has even described this film as his “mystery box”, which worked very well in generating excitement and buzz around it.
I felt terribly conflicted walking out of this movie, since overall I really enjoyed it. However, calling it a Cloverfield movie was completely unnecessary. It pretty much contains no connection to its 2008 predecessor, and it seems to have just gotten the title 10 Cloverfield Lane to generate more buzz and make more money.
You’re not supposed to know too much about the plot going in to this movie, as the mystery and surprise are the movies biggest strengths.
A girl gets into a car accident. She wakes up in a bunker with two men who say there was a chemical attack and the outside world is uninhabitable. But one of the men seems to be more than meets the eye, and our protagonist begins to wonder if staying with her captor is even more dangerous than life outside the bunker.
About 90 percent of this movie is filled with tension, scares, and nail-biting scenes, mainly driven by John Goodman’s performance as the unhinged man who built the bunker. His performance stands out, but is complemented by great directing from first-time director Dan Trachtenberg. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is excellent as the female protagonist, and her character provides the lens through which the audience experiences the movie. John Gallagher Jr. is the third person in the bunker, and plays one of the construction workers who built it. These three actors are the only lead actors in the movie, and all three of them do excellent jobs keeping viewers entertained.
While a majority of this movie is incredibly well made and enjoyable, the ending is where things fall apart. Without giving away spoilers, there is a silly twist that makes what’s left feel pretty much pointless. The twist forces a completely different tone on the rest of the movie and takes away all the tension without an amazing payoff.
Not everyone will hate the ending as much as I did, but I’m sure everyone will love the bulk of the movie. I won’t say anything else, because the less you know about this movie, the better. I don’t think it will by as re-watchable as some other movies this year, because a lot of the fun comes from not knowing what will happen next, but I definitely think this movie is worth seeing.