Saturday, May 28, 2016
10 CLOVERFIELD LANE (2016)
Directed By: Dan Trachtenberg
Story By: Josh Campbell & Matthew Steucken
Written By: Josh Campbell , Matthew Steucken & Damien Chazelle
Cinematography By: Jeff Cutter
Editor: Stefan Grube
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr.
WARNING: Spoilers abound
*Please note that some trivia and facts have been republished from imdb among other sources In this review
Soon after leaving her fiancé Michelle is involved in a car accident. She awakens to find herself sharing an underground bunker with Howard and Emmett. Has she been saved from an apocalyptical event as Howard & Emmett tell her or are there other motives for her being held against her will?
This film actually follows a three act structure perfectly as it is transparent in it's construction.
Though supposedly a suspense thriller it offers moments of surprise but is mostly predictable. Despite plenty of tension hanging in the air. Though that doesn't stop the film from easily drawing you in.
The film is like a bigger budgeted TWILIGHT ZONE episode turned into a movie.
The film's life began as a script called "The Cellar" (which had nothing to do with the Cloverfield universe, and was at one time also known as "Valencia"). The script was acquired by J.J. Abrams ' production company Bad Robot and adapted to become "10 Cloverfield Lane"
The cast members weren't told the title of the movie during production (preserving the secret as long as possible).
The film is a character study more in abuse tactics and victimization and overcoming odds. All through the eyes of a victim who we Know is a survivor, it just feels like the movie is in place to get us to the eventual ending.
The film might have gotten more notice if it had stayed more of a mysterious indie, but as the title hints it is tells the audience more through that and is a spiritual sequel to the hit film CLOVERFIELD. So it was destined to be more of a studio mandated film. No matter how hard it tries to stay a small compact thriller. Though as an indie might not have equaled as huge a box office. As this was particularly a mystery upon it's release as to how it ties into the original movie. Though with a different title would have been interesting to push it into theaters literally through the back door and let the fans put it together. Though the third act might have been a bit too much for more art film audiences.
Strangely the film feels similar in style to a M. Night Shamalayan movie when he is really using his skills to the best of their abilities.
The film feels intelligent and original in it's presentation. Even in the CLOVERFIELD universe. As each film in this series are presented in different original and challenging ways. As this film is more of a chamber piece. Though each act feels like a different type of film.
The film has an action packed finale that finally gives some audience members what they wait for, but marks a tonal difference. That could easily throw others in the audience off. As it seems like the filmmakers are trying to make the best of both worlds.
Music cues at times become bombastic. Though they are light in the last act. Which actually has jump scares that work. As the sound design really put the audience on it's toes. Where it seems like the rule book has been thrown out and anything can happen. Leaving us generally scared as you can't exactly predict what would happen next exactly. Though noticeably more action packed also.
The film has multiple endings that could have been just as effective, but the current ending makes the film feel complete and open for another. As well as being just a continuation. Or to help put a spin on the ending of the original.
The film has great performances all around. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is usually good. She makes a resourceful heroine more noteworthy and effective rather than in her previous action sci-fi film THE THING. Here we are with her every step of the way and root for her. As she is our main protagonist and we learn things here as she does. Not only that, She is immediately associated as our hero. Just look at here wardrobe the tank top, t-shirt also closely associated with Bruce Willis in DIE HARD. One of that films sequels she actually appeared in as his daughter.
John Gallagher Jr. Is the real surprise performance of the film. As he is lesser known in the cast. Though he holds his own. As he seems to be a stock character and infuses him, With charisma and charm. He comes off as a rogue but soon you realize he is weaker than first thought and not just because of his injury.
John Goodman is food as he seems to be a gentle giant one minute and the cold as ice overlord the next. Not as surprising a performance but effective to keep the film off kilter. As he craves control and hold more secrets than expected.
This seems like a nice tease and also a way to get more blockbuster minded audiences to see more of a high concept indie type thriller. So a Trojan horse to a degree.
Though with the title kind of hints to us an answer at the center of this supposed thriller and mystery. Which seems to be one of the Main Reasons people are going to see the film. To see how it fits in.
Twists and turns some you see coming and some not as surprising as the filmmakers seem to hope for
The plot line of someone being held inside a bunker under the pretense of the air outside being polluted was also used in the second season of LOST; in both instances, the deceiver eventually dies during an altercation with the deceived person. Both this sequel and Lost were produced by J.J. Abrams
According to producer J.J. Abrams, this is considered a "blood-relative" to the original CLOVERFIELD
Although they take place in the same universe, the film has no apparent connections to CLOVERFIELD. However, producer J.J. Abrams has stated that the studio has a plan to tie the two films, as well as possible future films in the franchise, together.