As an unexpected sequel to found footage Cloverfield (2008) it is hard to see the connection between the two. When comparing it to the third-person narrative of 10 Cloverfield Lane the two films seem more like second cousins twice removed, rather than direct relatives. However, in a very rare case I feel the sequel has outperformed the original on all levels.
The psychological thriller element was a huge surprise which reached levels of bone chilling, edge of seat sitting and verbal out loud screams in the theatre. Don’t be fooled by the mere 12A (UK) rating which I physically had to pull out my cinema ticket and check the rating at the end of the film through disbelief. Although there is no visible gore or (much) violence. I’m not sure I agree on this low rating as I feel sorry for any parent walking in their 8 year old child to see this film…
The film consists of a cast of only 5 characters. Bradley Cooper has around 40 seconds during a phone call, Suzanne Cryer has about a minute on screen, leaving the remaining 104 minutes and 20 seconds to three main characters. Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays leading lady Michelle. As most may assume this role would be greatly filled by a damsel in distress, the writer instead created a strong independent woman who battles each curve ball like someone who is determined to survive. Michelle was a great character to watch, relate to, and see progress. Mary executed this role outstandingly.
Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) is your classic average Joe who finds himself in the right place at the right time. Emmett came across as quite a simpleton which helped both Michelle and the audience trust the situation. It also helped that a friendship could be found in a lonely isolated place.
Now the moment we have all been waiting for…John Goodman. He plays neighbourhood strange fellow Howard, who has spent his entire life wearing a tinfoil hat and creating an underground bunker; the expert in conspiracy theories. He easily moves from crazy kidnapping psychopath
to a trustworthy character to friend and right back around to psychopath. He is convinced the world around him is crazy, and believes all of his actions are normal “Crazy is building your ark after the flood has already come”. John Goodman‘s performance is outstanding. He captivates the audience in such a compelling way. As the audience I really wanted to trust his character, but like Michelle, you just didn’t know if you could.
The story is the biggest surprise I have seen so far in 2016, every turn, every corner, something completely unexpected happens as you route for each character individually. The build of the characters relationships and personalities is something other films of this type should be envious of and the exclusion of romance in the post-apocalyptic world is refreshing.
I will be recommending this film for a long while to come and I hope to see the sequel to this film in the future.
– That was pretty epic
Star of the show:
Please note; I do not own copyright to any to the photographs used.
Using copyright works fact sheet from the UK Copyright Service.