Writers: Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken.
Story and Screenplay: Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken, Damien Chazelle.
Starring: John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr.
Based on the script, The Cellar and part of the Cloverfield series (see Cloverfield (2008)), this is a psychological thriller that was well-paced. And by thriller, I mean the soundtrack (composed by Bear McCreary) was used to build the tension and restraint was used in telling the story.
Howard (John Goodman, and my goodness he was well-cast in this one), is a doomsday fanatic. Building his bunker, his ‘Arc before the flood’, he knew it was coming. Whether It be aliens, the Russians or the Korean’s (North, he’s convinced later), Howard knew It was coming. And now, it’s just not safe to go out there.
Goodman’s facial expressions and frankly, his girth, make Howard’s creepy character believable; making him all the more powerful and in control. Not only did he hold the keys, he’d certainly be suck’n up all the oxygen with that set of lungs! And the camera work here is to be commended.
Much of the suspense is built around the soundtrack, so you kind of know what’s going to happen but you kinda don’t. I liked the restraint used to build this story of claustrophobia, with time spent building the characters, allowing the audience to get close: Howard, the creepy-doomsday guy, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), the normal one, and Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), the loveable-but-not-quite-sure-about one.
There are not many tricks or tools used to portray this movie and what was used by director Dan Trachtenberg was used well.
I enjoyed the relationship between the characters, and the idea, that, Yeah, I’d probably try that too. Everyone was there for a reason and the audience was left, like Michelle, not quite sure what to believe. And yes, thankfully, there are a few surprises.
I wasn’t blown away but I wasn’t disappointed either.
I think more could have been done with the camera work. Like the soundtrack, accentuate a few more of those expressions from Howard, making the bunker all the more tight, building the suspense with well-placed angles and close-ups. I just wasn’t completely engrossed; wasn’t on the edge of my seat.
Even so, 10 Cloverfield Lane is definitely worth a watch.
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