The next report card is for the sci-fi thriller and "blood relative" of Cloverfield entitled 10 Cloverfield Lane.
10 Cloverfield Lane - directed by Dan Trachtenberg; written by Drew Goddard and Daniel Casey; starring John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and John Gallagher Jr.
WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW
Howard (Goodman) was definitely the best character. He was creepy and unstable, a solid combination for a psychological thriller antagonist. Michelle (Winstead) was very reminiscent of a young Ripley (Alien), determined and strong. Right away, she assumed the position of a fighter instead of slowly transforming into one, a welcomed choice instead of what we normally see in most thrillers or horror movies.
Emmett was a bit too monotone for me. Even when the stakes were high, he maintained a cool demeanor. A slightly strange choice for a supporting character in thriller.
John Goodman is the man. He is able to go from scary to vulnerable to homicidal with great believability. Mary Elizabeth Winstead held her own so she earns major props. John Gallagher Jr. felt a bit stale. Anyone could have played his part.
VISUALS (FX, MAKEUP, COSTUMES, SETS): B+
Every now and then I found the CGI to be a little bit shaky, but it might have just been the snob in me. Overall they did a good job, specially when it came to creature design. The creatures in 10 Cloverfield Lane bordered the line between the mechanical and the organic, which gave the flick a fresh and innovative look. Though we don't see the big Lovecraftian alien from Cloverfield in this one, the presence of tentacles and a octopus-like mouth on one of the flying beings allows us to deduce they are all in fact part of the same universe.
The makeup was also good. Nothing looked particularly bad and I appreciated the continuity of Michelle's pealing nail polish as the days went by.
Howard bunker was quite possibly one of my favorite aspects of Cloverfield Lane. Just like Howard's character, it had cold scary areas (like Michelle's room) and nostalgic bits like the jukebox and movie collection. It felt light at times and in the next second oppressing. Perfect.
MUSIC & SOUND: A
Sound design was really important in this film since Michelle's only connection to the outside for the majority of the story is based on what she hears. Music was also very entertaining and present in the movie, since Howard has a good old jukebox in his bunker. The rendition of Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now" was particularly cute.
TONE (ACTION, ROMANCE, COMEDY): A
This movie is a psychological thriller. Prepare to feel tense and uneasy for most of it.
ACTION: The final scenes are charged with action. Michelle needs to save herself from Howard and then from a force she does not understand. It definitely kept my attention and I was cheering for her safety and success.
COMEDY: There are some fun moments in this film and some non intentional funny ones, but comedy is not a major point.
ROMANCE: This is not a romantic movie, thank the gods. Though you will find interesting to know that the voice of Michelle's boyfriend is actually Bradley Cooper's.
FINAL GRADE: B+
10 Cloverfiel Lane is a successful movie. It plays with paranoia, murder, alien invasion, and survival. The characters (for the most part) are very interesting and likable, which allows for the story to be enjoyed even by those who are not big fans of science fiction.
I throughly enjoyed this movie and if you watch it, you won't be disappointed.
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE?
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