I haven’t been watching many movies lately, so forgive me if this review might be a little rusty. The reason why I haven’t been watching as many movies lately is because there hasn’t been anything that has really “captivated” me, so to speak. However, there is one movie. This movie has reinvigorated me. I’m talking about ’10 Cloverfield Lane’. Going into it, I was sitting front row on the hype train; as I’m sure many of you were doing as well. And I don’t want to sound generic, but ‘Cloverfield’ is possibly one of my favorite movies of all-time. Unlike most though, I don’t think it’s underrated. I think it’s merely overlooked and easily forgotten, but not underrated. We’re not here to discuss ‘Cloverfield’ though, we’re here to discuss ’10 Cloverfield Lane’; a whole other beast of a film.
So by now you’re probably wondering what the plot is? In all seriousness though, I don’t think I can really tell you. I mean, I could, but that would spoil most of the movie. You see, ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ is the type of movie that benefits greatly from knowing little-to-nothing about it. Just know that I think it’s good and for those wondering, yes, it’s totally worth your time.
Plot aside, I can tell you about the cinematography or the music or the performances or basically anything else. So I guess I’ll start with the best aspect of the film – because screw saving the best for last – the music. Now I normally tend to not care or notice the music in movies THAT much. But for some reason, I really paid attention this time. I think that’s because the music in ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ is very “in your face” without being too “in your face”… You know what I mean, right? If not, allow me to clarify: The music is something that aids the tension and makes the movie far more unsettling than it probably should be. Basically what I’m saying is that the music that was used was not only great, but it was also used to great effect. I know this aspect will be pretty obvious to most people, but I really admired it.
Another thing I really admired was the well-timed jump scares. Now, I know I have been caught saying that jump scares are lazy and I still think they are. However, when done right they can be very effective. Such is the case for ’10 Cloverfield Lane’. There are jump scares, very few mind, but they are in there. I liked them because they did what jump scares are, in my opinion, supposed to do. They caught me by surprise and happened when I least expected it. It’s not every day that I’ll praise a movie for its jump scares, but this is an exception because of how expertly they were executed.
Moving on, the performances were great too. If you can’t tell yet, I thought this movie was great. I really think you should see this movie. Anyway, the performances were great. A lot of people will tell you how great John Goodman was, but I thought the real star of the show was John Gallagher Jr., and not because he was “funny” but because he was the most relatable. He wasn’t stupid, more naïve. The other two, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman, both gave equally good performances as well, but I just could not connect with them on a personal level, so I didn’t really care about them as much. Still, I cannot stress enough that all of the performances were fantastic.
Earlier I mentioned the cinematography and I want to touch on that slightly too. There was a part of the film where someone was in a tight space and, being claustrophobic myself, I felt like I was in that tight space too and I did not like it. Ironically, it is this scene which leads me to say I enjoyed the cinematography on show. Although, to be honest, the trailer made it look like the cinematography would be far better.
All in all, I have really no complaints about this film. It delivered on what it promised and that’s it. It didn’t add anything or take away. It was exactly what I expected it to be, nothing more and definitely nothing less. What makes ‘Cloverfield’ so good is the fact that it’s just so accessible – everybody seems to like it – and ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ certainly follows suit. Enough of me praising this fantastic, fantastic movie. Go see it and just have fun.
Directed by: Dan Trachtenberg
Written by: Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken, Damien Chazelle
Cast: John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr.