Friday, March 11, 2016

10 Cloverfield Lane

Some of you may recall Cloverfield, the shaky-cam, found footage, monster movie produced by J.J. Abrams back in 2008.  I definitely do.  I remember thoroughly enjoying that wild ride when I saw it in the theater.  Best of all, the marketing of it was super secretive, preserving the thrill of the unknown so we could experience it on our own.  Well since then, it has acquired a cult following of fans awaiting a sequel.  Or a prequel.  Or another story told in tandem.  But for eight years, we had nothing but murmurs of the possibility.  Then, out of nowhere, a few months ago a film titled 10 Cloverfield Lane was announced!  Is this what we've all been waiting for, we wondered?  It's gotta be!  But how, or if, it will relate to the first one has been a closely guarded secret.  And I love that.  Abrams is one of the few big names that understands that not telling us everything (or anything) in the marketing won't keep us away.  If you make a good film, they will come.  And sure enough, they made a good film.  A very good film.  I won't spoil how, or if, this relates to Cloverfield.  But, first and foremost, it is a tense thriller with a great cast that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout.  John Goodman is absolutely terrific, as always.  Mary Elizabeth Winstead is ever-watchable.  And John Gallagher Jr. is good enough.  My only critique is it would've been an even better experience had it not been titled 10 Cloverfield Lane.  Whether it is linked to Cloverfield or not, it would've been more effective without that thought in our heads.

Grade: A-

Who is this movie for?  Do you like tense and suspenseful thrillers?  Then definitely go see this one.  Let's send Hollywood a message that we actually like surprises, and we don't need marketing to spoil everything about a movie just to get our butts in their seats.

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