Friday, June 24, 2016

Movie Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) - Directed by Dan Trachtenberg; Written by Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken, Damien Chazelle; Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher, Jr.

By Kenny Howell

Cloverfield was an expansive monster movie that may have been a better advertising ploy than it was film, though it had its moments.

10 Cloverfield Lane is a companion piece to that film which ends up being small in scope, but much more successful than its predecessor.

10 Cloverfield Lane isn't directly related to the first film, but exists in the same world. Our protagonist is Michelle, who we meet just before a car wreck throws her off the road and knocks her unconscious.

She wakes up in a bit of precarious situation. She is chained to a bed in some sort of bunker and finds that she is being held there by Howard, a bit of a loony man who tells her there has been some sort of apocalyptic event outside. He also has a young man named Emmett in the bunker, who develops a friendship with Michelle, which seems to upset Howard.

We know from the first film what the apocalyptic event is, but the characters do not, even Howard. They know it is just something horrible, and life outside of the bunker could mean radiation poisoning as well as other dangers.

But there seems to be danger inside the bunker as well. Howard is clearly unstable, and Michelle and Emmett plot to get out of the bunker, while also trying to survive the hellscape that could await them.

Usually when you see three screenwriters names on a project, that is a warning sign that maybe things had to be changed multiple times because it just wasn't working. Even if one of those names is Damien Chazelle, the man behind my best film of 2013, Whiplash. But the script is tight, and it feels like it could have been someone's first screenplay which had indie hit written all over it. For most of the movie, it doesn't matter if you haven't seen the first film, but that soon falls apart by the end. Still, on its own, it's like a great The Twilight Zone episode led by a great cast, especially Goodman as the volatile Howard. It makes this companion piece much more than that. It's the better film of the franchise.

Rating: ***1/2

No comments:

Post a Comment