A Review Of 10 Cloverfield Lane....
A Review Of 10 Cloverfield Lane….
I did not intend to see the movie 10 Cloverfield Lane, but I thank happenstance for the two hours or so of intrigue, scare, and entertainment. I must also confess that I did not see the first Cloverfield movie… and so I write this review in ignorance of what went before. There are times when those of us who love the movies are genuinely surprised, pleasantly so, when we see a movie that delivers the proverbial goods; however, at this juncture, I must be careful in not giving anything way, so as to give those of you who have not seen 10 Cloverfield Lane yet the chance to go out and enjoy the little gem of a scare-fest that is 10 Cloverfield Lane. An excellent movie in any genre depends on the movie script and actors that can quicken said script and a director that can coax and nurture the quickening and all these aspects are part and parcel of 10 Cloverfield Lane.
10 Cloverfield Lane is a movie that basically takes place in a bunker and it is akin to a Broadway play, whereby, it depends on a the movie script and the acting to generate the willies - and it does! Incidentally, those who were lucky enough to secure refuge in the bunker from whatever monsters that are lurking outside must choose their painful poison. Among the stars of 10 Cloverdfield Lane is John Goodman and I know this man, mostly from his television work, but in this movie, he is at the top of his form, and again, surprisingly so in a movie that was made to generate scares. Let us be honest, we do not go to see scary movies for the acting - we go to see the man in the Hockey Mass (Jason) or the man with the knives for fingers (Freddy Krueger) - but lo and behold, John Goodman’s acting runs the gamut from the seemingly fatherly figure to the behemoth sociopath that can go from Sesame Street’s Mr. Rogers to the serial killer, Charles Manson in a jiffy.
The compelling aspect about Goodman’s character is that it is like an onion with many rings of personalities, and just when we fall for the ring that represents the loving, fatherly figure, we are bone chillingly reminded what those other rings are - the things that go bump in the night. Scary movies normally take the ambience, the make up, and the sound track to generate the scares, but in 10 Cloverfield Lane, it is John Goodman’s facial ticks, his cadence in his voice or a simple look that makes one to be on the edge of his or movie seat. Case in bone chilling point, there is a scene where the benefactor host, John Goodman, is playing charades with his guests (pun intended), and the answers he is giving for the possible clues are as tundra chilling as anything we have seen from the scary movie genre….
As brilliant as John Goodman is, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is even more so. I must again confess that I am one who frequents the movies, yet I do not know of this lady’s work and shame on me because Miss Winstead’s performance is awesome - and it is done in a movie that supposed to scare you. Watch Miss Winstead’s countenance as she has to feign ‘daughterly’ love for a sociopath on steroids or maintain her composure when a fellow guess, who was acting on her subterfuge behest, met his brutal demise. It is also ingenious to watch Miss Winstead make an outfit to assist her in the aftermath of her escape… outwitting the scares inside the bunker and those on the outside. In case I have not told you, the iconic saying that says from the ‘frying pan’ to the fire is just what Miss Winstead’s character faces in 10 Cloverfield Lane and if anyone doubts that a female can play a James Bond type character only has to see Miss Winstead in this movie.
I have tried my best not provide any spoilers, but think of 10 Cloverfield like the characters in Stephen King’s Misery, only that the milieu is relatively less or more hospitable. The ‘frying pan’ mentioned above for Miss Winstead may be the benevolent dictator - oxymoron intended - that she lives with in the bunker, but the ‘fire’ may be the ‘things’ that HP Love Craft, Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Octavia E. Butler have written about… that are literally frighteningly part of the Miss Winstead’s landscape on the outside. Props to the directing and the script writers that contributed to the brilliance of 10 Cloverfield Lane: with lines like “we build the Ark after the deluge is upon us” or one the characters not knowing which one of the Koreas represents the geo-political bad guys or the inside joke that went over the heads of the kids who were watching the movie when one of the Bunker guesses told his benefactor that, now that world had gone to hell, if the latter regretted not taking a pilgrimage to Waco, Texas.