'10 Cloverfield Lane' is about a young woman who finds herself trapped in a bunker after she was left unconscious from a car crash. The man who saved her brought her into his bunker and says he saved her life since the air outside is toxic from an attack.
'10 Cloverfield Lane' is nothing like the first one at all. It's not a found footage movie and it doesn't really reference anything from that movie at all. This is an entirely new story that really focuses on it's character and story rather than the environment they are placed in. What I loved most about this movie was that it felt very much like a small, independent film filled with tension and intensity, for the most part.
First of all, the marketing for this movie was insanely brilliant. Producer J.J. Abrams came up with the idea of keeping this film under wraps until 3 months before the release date. I don't remember any movie doing this in a long time, and it's very impressive they kept this movie a secret. Abrams is definitely proving to be one of the best filmmakers of our generation as he's implementing so many ideas that respects the movie-going experience. I'd love to see more movies like this where we don't know anything about it/keeping it a secret.
All the performances were great, but by far the stand out was John Goodman as Howard. This is an excellent look at a character. At points, he may seem like a logical and normal person, but then he could easily turn into an insane mad man. The acting by Goodman was such a great performance as he has to shift from normal to insane. It was a perfect way of showing the deterioration of a character into full insanity. I was very impressed by Goodman's performance and would consider it Oscar worthy.
This entire film almost feels like an independent movie as there's barely any CGI and doesn't really go over the top (until the end). This movie is a pure thriller, filled with intensity and tension that continues to build up. The film really focuses on Howard and Michelle (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead). These two play off each other really well as Michelle notices something's off about Howard. However, Howard is aware that Michelle feels this way, and it adds to the overall intensity of most of the scenes. As I mentioned before, the movie continues to become more intense as it goes along, especially towards the end.
One of the biggest flaws that I've been hinting to is the ending. I'm not a huge fan of it as it attempts to go a different direction and connect it to the first Cloverfield. SPOILER WARNING: After Michelle escapes the bunker, she's then attacked by aliens that have invaded the earth. This plot point felt very disconnected from the rest of the movie as it tries to make it more of a blockbuster movie. I didn't really like that because before this entire scene, we were shown a very intense and tension filled movie that felt very small in scale. It felt as though they took an ending from another movie and placed it here. If they cut it off when she escaped before she saw the aliens, I think this would've been a near perfect movie.
One other problem I had was with the other character, Emmett. He's fine and the actor gave a great performance, however his character is not explored as much compared to Michelle or Howard. They attempt to give him a back story in one scene, which was interesting, but isn't really explored any further. The movie primarily focuses on just Michelle and Howard, which is very well done. However, Emmett just feels like a disposable, useless character.
Overall, I enjoyed '10 Cloverfield Lane'. This doesn't really have anything to do with 'Cloverfield' for the most part, but I think they added the Cloverfield name in order to make more money. I remember reading on the IMDb trivia page that this was originally supposed to be a film called 'The Cellar', but the producers wanted to rework it as a Cloverfield sequel. What this means is that this was probably going to be a standalone movie, but they probably made it into a sequel so that it would receive more attention. That's why the ending may seem a bit tacked on and different from the entire film. That's my theory, but I would still recommend watching this movie.
MY SCORE: 9/10