Tony's Take

10 Cloverfield Lane

10-cloverfield-lane-poster-secondMonsters Come In Many Forms

This week brings us the hotly-anticipated release of “10 Cloverfield Lane”, which only gave us its first surprise trailer 2 months ago.  The film opens with one of our main characters, Michelle, frantically packing things around her apartment, though we do not know why.  She leaves and while driving, receives a phone call from a man named Ben.  From the sound of the conversation, Ben and Michelle have just ended their relationship (though unsure why).  As she is driving down the road and barely paying attention, she is blindsided and her car tumbles down a hill.  She wakes up chained to a post with an IV in her, with no idea how she got there.  We soon meet Howard, who built the underground shelter, and he tries to show her nothing but compassion.  Howard also has another man he saved in the shelter, named Emmett.  While Michelle just wants to leave and doesn’t trust him, Howard tells her that there has been an attack on Earth, either nuclear, chemical, or extraterrestrial.  And no one above-ground has survived.  The rest of the film follows the three main characters as more of their personal mysteries begin to unravel.

John Goodman stats as Howard Shambler, the man who not only built the underground fallout shelter in-preparation, but also chose to save Emmett and Michelle by bringing them down there.  Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Michelle, who is grateful to be alive, but is very suspicious of Howard’s true intentions.  John Gallagher Jr. plays a man named Emmett, who was not only saved by Howard, but he also helped build the shelter.  Suzanne Cryer plays a woman who desperately wants inside of the shelter.  Bradley Cooper voices Ben on the phone.

In 2008 “Cloverfield”, due to its intriguing trailer and fun and interactive viral marketing, captivated moviegoers with a found footage attack on New York City by a mysterious monster.  For those of you expecting a connection to “10 Cloverfield Lane”, don’t get your hopes up.  The film manages to keep you intrigued and guessing for its majority, but its ending leaves much to be desired.  In a film with such a small cast, it is important that each of them bring their own element to the story.  Goodman is dark and mysterious as Howard, seemingly hiding deeper intentions, Michelle is clueless and questions everything, while Emmett goes with the flow and adds humor to the awkward trio.  “10 Cloverfield Lane” is great for the first hour and a half, offering some truly uncomfortable and mind-numbing scenes that will keep you guessing until a huge moment!  One of the best phrases I can use to describe the film is it’s a psychological thriller and that the message “Monsters Come in Many Forms” is evident throughout its run time.  The film’s viral marketing also shows its face a few times, mostly involving Howard’s daughter Megan.  After such great buildup and storytelling during the first 90 minutes, the last 10 minutes are such an unbelievable letdown.  I truly wonder how they could have such a strong story and script and then let it all go to waste over the final few pages.  Not only is it disappointing, but it’s outrageous and completely over-the-top.  “10 Cloverfield Lane” manages to keep you intrigued and uncomfortably on the edge of your seat for the first 90 minutes, but the last 10 are an absolute letdown.  After how bad the film’s ending is, I am actually very happy it doesn’t have a direct correlation to “Cloverfield”.

“10 Cloverfield Lane” follow a trio of survivors are hidden and secret fragments of their personalities begin to appear.  The film features tense and uncomfortable interactions and thrilling psychological fun, but also one of the biggest let-down endings in recent memory!  If you are heading to the movies this weekend, go see “10 Cloverfield Lane” but be sure to disregard the last 10 minutes!!


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10 CLOVERFIELD LANE is rated PG-13 for thematic material including frightening sequences of threat with some violence, and brief language, in theaters Friday!

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