10 Cloverfield Lane

Months ago when the film came out of nowhere, 10 Cloverfield Lane quickly jumped the line to the top of my most anticipated movies list. Thank goodness it doesn’t disappoint. Granted I also knew what to expect.

I’m going to keep this one short and sweet for everyone. I don’t want to spoil anything, and saying almost anything feels like it does. I’ll just start with this: forget this movie has “Cloverfield” in the title. That’s misleading a ton of people. This is not a Cloverfield sequel, prequel or anything in between. It’s not a creature feature, plain and simple. That said, there is still a reason for “Cloverfield” to be in the title. This is still a world with a timeline that involves aliens with some of the weirdest vocals I have ever heard. But they’re in New York. Or have been. Or will be. Honestly their relationship to New York is irrelevant.

To put it simply: 10 Cloverfield Lane is exactly what the trailer presents: a self-contained story of three people trapped in a bunker for various reasons, dealing with the stresses that fester in close proximity situations to strangers and unknown threats. Mary Elizabeth Winstead arrives into the bunker in the guise of the viewer, completely unaware of what has happened and what is going on. And super freaked out my John Goodman. Who needs aliens!?

Winstead and John Gallagher Jr. are the heart of this movie as my attention was drawn to their characters, but the film relies heavily on Goodman’s performance. His unsolicited help comes with a hint of uncertainty around the edges, like this could slip into the realm of horror at any second. There is just something not right with this man. He’s childlike in his emotions: he lies somewhere between where innocence and ignorance meet thanks to his beliefs in what may be occurring on the surface, and balances rather delicately between emotions. He’s stubborn, prideful, and terrifyingly unpredictable even in his calmest states. It’s creepy, and it’s just what this situation needs.

And that’s all I’ll say about it. I may have been wordier than intended, but basically all I really said was this: know what to expect, and you can expect a great movie. Just don’t expect Cloverfield.

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