10 Cloverfield Lane (Film Review)

“Crazy – is building your ark after the flood has already come”

Spoilers, obviously.

In what is fast becoming the style of the franchise – this appears to be a film that has been re-branded with the Cloverfield name. Originally shot as ‘The Cellar’, the film was retooled to fit into the universe (‘Cloverfield Paradox’ was originally ‘God Particle’). And with that steady trend comes the commentary that this may be part of something larger but also works independently.
It’s a fully functioning apocalyptic thriller/horror in its own right – the film is clever, claustrophobic and suspenseful in equal measures but its strongest feature is that the majority of the film is tangible. The horror quality is that the bunker and it’s inhabitants are a very real concept and terrifying on a humanistic level.

John Goodman’s (Howard) introductory reveal was purposefully creepy and sets his performance up to totally steal the show. His character swings from overbearing father to unhinged psychopath at Goodman’s whim. At no point in the film is the viewer ever able to get a good read on Howard’s thoughts or motives and it helps to build tension. Ramona flowers (sorry) does a good enough job as the protagonist but this is definitely Goodman’s bunker.

Oddly enough there are three characters in that bunker but only two of them are fleshed out or given any sort of development. Bar some passing references to Emmett helping to build the bunker and his subsequent injury trying to gain access, we are not given much more. Although this lends an aspect of distrust to his character it seems we could have been given more insight.

During the films run we are introduced to the tools to be utilized later in the story both visually and anecdotally. The IV drip stand. The lock story. These elements are woven subtly through the first acts.

Once the films premise was set in motion it was obvious we were going to be treated to a montage of life in the bunker and they delivered it well. Also : i can die happy having seen Goodman twerking.

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The interesting thing about this franchise and a feature I feel they don’t get enough credit for is the connectivity between these seemingly re-branded titles. Not quite direct relations but they do all share a blood line. For instance the footage of first film ‘Cloverfield’ shows us an object falling from the sky – the theory being that it was a falling satellite which somehow led to the monster being awoken. This was one of Howard’s satellites……
There are timelines at play and an all encompassing shadow-corperation at work (seriously if you’re into this search for TAGRUATO – it’s the name of the company. You’ll find a seemingly bottomless expanse of ARG content dating back to the franchise inception. It’s too vast for me to try and tackle in a mere blog post)

The films finale felt like a let down, personally. Once Ramona Flowers (thats her name. Sorry) had escaped the bunker there should have been a feeling of accomplishment for the viewer, a resolve – but what we got was around 20 minutes of unclear dicking-about concerning aliens. To have her escape and find the world unchanged would have been a complete waste, I agree – but there wasn’t enough substance to what she did find. It was clumsy and ill-defined.

This is a film about captivity and abuse, not monsters. Maybe we’re the real monsters etc etc…..

The fourth installment of the Cloverfield universe – ‘Overlord’ (title at the time of writing) was set to come out October 2018.

https://crazydiscostu.wordpress.com/

4 Comments

  1. Hello Crazydiscostu,

    You did a pretty good job with your review (better than my post), and I agree that they could have done a bit better with the character Emmett DeWitt; but maybe they wanted you to not be sure if you could trust him or not, and so maybe that is why they handled that character the way that they did.

    Thank you for sharing this,
    -John Jr

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes well said, John. I liked the element of mistrust among the characters. I suppose in this instance less is really more.

      Not at all, keep the reviews coming! I enjoyed your thoughts on it!
      Cheers for commenting
      Stu

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Crazydiscostu.

        I liked the element of mistrust as well, and I agree.

        Thanks and you are welcome,
        -John Jr

        Like

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