In a brilliantly vague turn of marketing events that lead to more confusion than an intersection with no stoplight, the J.J. Abrams produced ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ has become a different kind of silently subtle masterwork. Not just in the film itself, but more so with all that has been surrounding it.
Meaning that aside from the actual release of the film, this piece of art is still very underexposed as to it’s true meaning and fit within what could or could not be the same realm as the 2008 Matt Reeves directed, ‘Cloverfield.’
So far we’ve seen well established critics, becoming sour in their reviews, as they claim the trailer and promotional campaign has deceived audiences into thinking that ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ is a direct sequel from the 2008 movie that caught most of us off-guard, and in a great way.
I say, ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ can be basically anything you want it to be, and therein lies the absolute beauty in the film-making and production of this effort. Along with the pre-release trailers and within the initial sequences of this one hour and forty three minute movie, audiences should already have a feel for the 2008 predecessor. After that, you can hold onto that feeling, or you can get lost in an entirely different movie all together, either way viewers win.
Speaking of winning, John Goodman shows off what is probably the finest performance of his career as Howard, a creepy conspiracy theorist that keeps you guessing even after the credits roll.
The rest of an intimately small leading cast, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) combined to become a strong duo, yet Gallagher Jr. seemed to be a poor choice to play his character, at times negating Winstead’s talents and the focus on her character. I would have loved to see the film with a replacement to Gallagher Jr., I do think it would have made a substantial difference in the overall effectiveness of ’10 Cloverfield Lane.’
The highlights of this movie, aside from John Goodman lies within the incredible sound editing and score, the only reason I could see it attracting an IMAX audience. Even though the angles and focuses were elongated to ensure proper emotional buildup, I don’t see anything that would atone for the extra money to see it in IMAX.
The plot was on point, and the script writing from trio Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken & Damien Chazelle was incredibly stellar, as they weaved such a simple yet intricate set of situations ending up in a wonderfully produced and directed (Dan Trachtenberg) film.
Overall, I highly recommend ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ giving it four out of five stars. It does toe the line of horror, but is more a thrilling mystery with science fiction ingredients. I do think that it has a place in a Cloverfield universe, one that might be just beginning, or one that will remain a secret to everyone but the ones who created it.