Out today in theaters is 10 Cloverfield Lane, the sort-of-sequel to 2008’s Cloverfield directed by Dan Trachtenburg and staring: John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and John Gallagher Jr. Nerd Nation was at the early press screening courtesy of Paramount Pictures, Allied Marketing, and Regal Cinemas.
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!!
Still here? Okay! Let’s get to it!
Originally, this movie was titled ‘The Cellar’ until it was adapted into a “spiritual sequel” to Cloverfield by Bad Robot Productions. I think they would’ve made a better movie if they had stuck with the original script. The last fifteen minutes seemed like a huge bit of slap-dashery rather than a part of the movie. It was touted as being a part of the original Cloverfield movie, or a continuation of it. Not so much. Then again, when it came out in 2008, Cloverfield was supposed to be a Godzilla shot from a first-person “found footage” perspective, like The Blair Witch Project (1999). I spent the whole movie looking for a glimpse of the monster, but we only caught glimpses of it. It definitely didn’t look alien, which is what they were going for at the end of this movie. Too bad the first part of the movie didn’t tie into the last fifteen minutes.
John Goodman played his part well. He was completely creepy and frightening. He was the most believable character in the movie. But, it’s John Goodman, you can expect no less from the man. Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Mercy Street) did what she could with some of the crap they gave her. Seriously guys “don’t hurt me” was the best you could do when she first sees Goodman’s Howard character!?! With five writers on this project, none of you red lit that as lame? Really? She’s a decent enough actress, so except for some really bad writing here and there, she did fine. John Gallagher Jr (The Newsroom) needed some work. Unless he was supposed to be stilted and rather a throwaway character, which is what happens to him in a manner of speaking.
The effects were limited, which, with a 5 million dollar budget to work with, is probably a good idea. Their six-man team deserves the bottle of booze Winstead’s character chucks up the (I’m guessing) anus of the creature. One of the more expensive Molotov cocktails I’ve ever seen. Their creatures were pretty decent, if a bit ridiculous. From what I could see of them (they went as nondescript and used far off shots of them as possible) they looked to be soft creatures with metallic exoskeletons.
Now, all of that was passable, until the ending. The end of this movie was a cross between M. Night Shyamalan‘s ‘Signs’ and the “jumbo enema” bit at the end of Ivan Reitman‘s Evolution. Yes, the ending really was that bad.
The Bottom Line:
Overall (and although many critics out there seem to be disagreeing with me) 10 Cloverfield Lane was a pretty big disappointment. Like it’s predecessor, it failed on so many levels. With all it’s demented twists, it leaves you scratching your head wondering what the hell you just watched. – 4.5/10
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine