April 8th 2016
Today I saw 10 Cloverfield Lane at the cinema. My quickie review of it is this: it’s a cracking film until the alien’s show up.
Now for a longer review:
The entire film has 4 actors in it, and one of those is in it for 30 seconds before her face explodes. John Goodman plays (marvellously) this really creepy/crazy wannabe father figure slash axe murderer. The location where 95% of the film takes place is a nuclear fallout shelter constructed by Goodman’s conspiracy theorist character. These factors create this really intimate, claustrophobic and psychologically disturbing setting. Which is then ruined by the appearance of aliens and lots of running around in crop fields.
The first 95% deals with really disturbing and sinister themes, and you build up all these questions, and with psychological thrillers such as this you’re constantly guessing and second-guessing the plot, (I got it wrong like 4 times) and the entire situation of the 3 people in the bunker and their relationships and the subtext was deep and interesting. The pacing and tension of the movie was incredible, and then it was ruined when the aliens showed up.
As I always do, after I watch a movie that I enjoyed, because I did really enjoy this movie, I did a bunch of research on it. Originally the script was for a standalone film called either ‘Valencia’ or ‘The Cellar’ in which the first 95% was the same, and the aliens didn’t show up.
That’s the film I wish I saw.
The alien bit was tagged on in post-production as a way of building hype for a second Cloverfield movie. It did seem like a bit of a publicity-centric afterthought, and it almost ruined it. They (being JJ Abrams production company, Bad Robot) created and instigated this entire universe of spoilers, and previews, and leaked it online so Cloverfield fans could follow the leaked information to try and get some information about the new film. It’s not a natural sequel to Cloverfield, it’s more of a hat-tip, but they marketed it and promoted it as a movie within the Cloverfield universe, which probably made box-office sales better, but it made the film worse.
Until tomorrow, they should’ve binned the aliens.