Is 10 Cloverfield Lane a sequel?
Well, the answer is clearly no.
7th August 2017
I watched 10 Cloverfield Lane again last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. If you've not seen the movie and have it on your list of things to watch I'd heartily recommend it.
I won't write spoilers here, I'm no movie reviewer. But I will offer some thoughts on the general 'feeling' that I was left with after the end credits had rolled.
The first Cloverfield movie was, for me, superb. I love the thought of monsters terrifying people. Monsters out of control and seemingly invulnerable to attack, caught unawares and out of their comfort zone therefore forced into attack as their only form of defence.
This is the essential premise of the first film.
That there are a bunch of millennials caught up in the fray is something of a side line but obviously you can't tell that kind of a story from the creature's perspective.
Cloverfield allowed us to witness the effects of a monster attack through the choreographed eyes of the camera operator.
We were offered sneak peeks of the creature and its miniature 'baby critters'.
JJ Abrams had a hand in both of these movies and it shows. This guy really does 'get' cinema. He understands what we want as viewers, as consumers of cinematics. We have enough story in there but essentially its what is played out on screen that we're here for.
His Star Trek reboot and more recently Star Wars: The Force Awakens were perfect examples of proper cinema. Break-taking action with heart that left no lulls within the second act that so many directors struggle with.
10 Cloverfield Lane shares nothing with Cloverfield but the name.
In fact, the word 'Cloverfield' is as much of a code word to Hollywood as it is to the deeper plot within both movies. It's just a code word. Nothing more.
John Goodman is a wonderful screen presence.
He's a nutcase in this movie and a survivalist. He's somebody who you just think is bonkers enough to believe his own nonsense.
But then this movie is a Cloverfield movie.
We the viewer know, deep down, on first viewing that the chances are he's bang on and it's the heroine of the feature that is in for a shock.
What we don't know is what form that shock will take. Not until the closing sequences.
It's a heck of a pay off. It could have been better, for sure. There could have been more to see.
But what we did see is enough to fuel the imagination.
This I think is where the film ultimately triumphs.
As the credits roll you're left with that indelible vision of the craft briefly illuminated by lightning.
You're left with that overwhelming sense of 'shit, something far bigger than the events in a farmhouse is underway.'
I love films like this. In fact I find them to be pretty masterful in terms of film making.
The tension is high, the action comes in dollops and the fear rises. But it's the gaps that you're left to fill in that make it the complete experience.