10 Cloverfield Lane was definitely an experience. In preparation for the film, I watched Cloverfield.
Normally I take a bit of time to look into the movie I am going to watch, but this time I decided just to dive in. Going in blind made every scene even more intense. I had no idea what was coming! The only hint I had about the movie was that it had something to do with aliens....Following this home viewing, I was extra excited for 10 Cloverfield Lane. I rushed to the theatre with an action packed alien filled sci-fi movie in mind. However, I was pleasantly surprised!
First off, the film was shot much differently than Cloverfield, which was all shaky cam in a found footage style. 10 Cloverfield Lane was much steadier and did not seem like someone there was filming everything happening. Second, and the bigger surprise for me, was that the film was more of a psychological thriller. This genre shift was brilliantly executed, particularly thanks to John Goodman.
(Potential MINOR Spoilers ahead)
His acting was phenomenal. Certain scenes where he only used facial expressions to get his thoughts across were even more tense than some where talking was involved. Throughout the film his intentions are constantly questioned: is he purely trying to help? Is there some ulterior motive behind his generosity?
Not only was John Goodman's acting on point, but Mary Elizabeth Winstead (shown above) and John Gallagher Jr.'s (shown below, right) acting were also vital to the success of the film. As the movie progresses, and the characters start to doubt Goodman's character, their developments parallel the audiences'. Every plot twist was expertly executed where the audience never saw it coming, and neither did the characters. Furthermore, a brilliant aspect of the film is the relationship everyone experiences with Howard (John Goodman's character). Be it between Michelle and Emmett (Winstead and Gallagher), or an audience member, it is an intense and disturbing rollercoaster of emotions regarding this one man. When certain troubling information regarding his past come to light, it is initially easy to villainize him. However, as we get to know this character and understand him, (note: understand, not condone or accept) it becomes increasingly difficult to make him into a pure monster.
Following this intense psychological thriller, the movie reverts into what I had initially imagined: an action sci-fi movie. And yet, it was elegantly done. It did not seem cheap or like a cop-out (as many action movies seem to fall into). It was a necessary and successful ending to this film.
In case you haven't seen it yet, here is the trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane