Schlocktoberfest 2K16 Day 7: 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

You'll never be able to look at James P. Sullivan the same way again.
You’ll never be able to look at James P. Sullivan the same way again.

Synopsis: After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack.

Expect the unexpected. Three words that are rarely spoken when describing contemporary Hollywood. Are we partly to blame though? How can we as the movie going public truly expect the unexpected when we’ve been pampered to the point that the film industry has given up on thoughtful and compelling stories and instead rely more on over saturating the market with computer generated fluff. What was once considered a tool for helping directors when the limitations of practical effects couldn’t handle it is no longer wanted to assist in the storytelling but has become an quintessential need in a never ending battle of one-upmanship between corporate gargantuans. Is the script good? Will the plot have a cohesive beginning, middle and end? Can the actors hit their marks and draw audiences in with memorizing performances? Who cares! All we have to do is throw a large mass of half rendered computer animated visuals and people will still flock to the theaters in droves and spend their hard earned money on a movie ticket. We’ll take the money and run while people turn to the internet to begin arguing with one another on whether or not what they say was actual worth going out to the multiplex for.

Every now and then a few surprises come out of the woodwork. 10 Cloverfield Lane dropped this past March when the days of a long talked follow up had faded into obscurity. While this does fall into the sequel trend that Hollywood loves to sink its claws into the fact that JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions were able to do this in complete secrecy without the of news of it leaking out on to the internet is a miracle in itself. This approach needs to be incorporated more to turn the industry around. Cloverfield took a concept and held back the traditional way that a film company would go about presenting it. 10 Cloverfield Lane, on the other hand, works in a similar fashion. Filmed under the name Valencia to keep any suspicion at bay the actors didn’t know what the film’s true title was until the first trailer premiered with 10 Cloverfield Lane attached to it.  While there was talk about continuing with the giant monster/kaiju concept explored in the original it was decided that this would be a spiritual successor that happens in the same universe. In many ways this reminds me of what John Carpenter wanted to do with Halloween III: Season of the Witch abandoning the whole masked killer/slasher concept  and instead focusing on the season of Halloween itself where anything could happen. Personally I’m glad to see the found footage style done away with. In its place is having a small cast of three very talented actors put in a confined space and watching those three different personalities clash. Who knew that John Goodman could reach down deep inside himself and pull out a performance where its impossible to take your eyes off the screen. He may have played a big friendly monster in the past but this, this is a creature of another sorts. One that I would not want to come in contact with or risk setting him off. Time will tell if Bad Robot will continue to play around in this newly evolved universe they definitely have a solid foundation in place in terms of working in secrecy so if a third Cloverfield does pop up unexpectedly that’s exactly the way I want to find out about it.

Final Grade: B+ 

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