10 Cloverfield Lane

March 13, 2016 at 4:59 pm | Posted in 2016 | Leave a comment
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Admittedly, it’s a bit early in the year to be discussing favorites but, I so thoroughly enjoyed this film that it’s hard not to imagine it will end up near the top of my list. Eight years ago, JJ Abrams directed the film “Cloverfield.” He is now executive producing this one. It is by no means a sequel but it is related somehow. Whether or not this one is the sister film to the original or a distant cousin is entirely unclear and may require waiting until the next in what will apparently be a Cloverfield series. Fortunately, this story stands on it’s own and the less I tell you about it, the better. Shot mostly on a very small set with just 3 actors, it builds tension almost unrelentingly for its 105 minutes. The story is anchored by strong performances from all three actors but especially from John Goodman, whose paranoid, deluded and shockingly unself-aware “Howard” seemed to be the infinitely darker cousin of his character, “Walter,” from “The Big Lebowski.” Goodman was unnerving fun to watch as he imbued even the most benign scenes with a sense of dread. The pressure cooker built and built up steam until the inevitable, and satisfying, explosion. A significant improvement over the first film in the series, this one had me on the edge of my seat and guessing at every turn. What’s really going on? As in most stories, the question is almost always better than the answer, but part of the fun comes from the anticipation. There’s plenty of that here.

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