10 Cloverfield Lane vs Cloverfield
I must admit to being a big fan of the alien Invasion genre; so it was great to see what an amazing job the makers of the Cloverfield franchise, have done with their latest film, 10 Cloverfield Lane. In the original film, which was out in 2008, the alien invasion began in Manhattan, New York, with a monstrous almost mammalian type alien, inflicting its own brand of terror on city residents. The original film had its viewing drawbacks in that it was supposed to be shot on a home video recorder, complete with shaky shots and sharp camera angles, which were quite a trend in those days, especially in paranormal films of that era…
The new 10 Cloverfield Lane has none of this home movie quality about it, and would have been an excellent psychological thriller in its own right, even without those poisonous gasses spreading predators. John Goodman is superb as the psychopathic Howard, who runs a very tight bunker indeed. Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead)the main character is tenacious, aggressive and resourceful, much like Ripley in the Alien films. The aliens, it must be noted, have been updated since their original outing in 2008; they have a more much sophisticated looking spacecraft and lethal toxic gas at their disposal.
The thing I really liked about 10 Cloverfield Lane, was that it wasn’t a strict sequel from the first film, because the invasion happens simultaneously in a different area; but as the characters were holed up in a bunker for an undisclosed period, this also allows for the passage of time from the original invasion. Apart from the wonderful acting, it is the first film I have seen in years that made me literally jump out of my skin…poor Emmett!
It had all of the hall marks of a decent Sci- fi film, but it seriously failed to deliver on that promise. We have an obsessed scientist who was trying to create a wormhole for the purpose of time travel (always a good thing). But his scientific obsessions are quickly derailed when he meets a beautiful and mysterious woman, rapidly transferring his obsession on to her. The whole movie is set in a small laboratory and a seventies style, concrete block of flats, which doesn’t add that much to the atmosphere.
The obsessed scientist spends much of his time running through a tinfoil tunnel (so achingly low budget) and repeating earlier scenes, which have apparently acquired new depth and meaning, with small dramatic tweaks now added. Most of us have seen this type of thing before, (it was done beautifully Memento 2000 with Guy Pearce), and this film really doesn’t have the depth or brilliant acting, to make it that interesting, unfortunately.
For lovers of all things android! It has a solid plot and some real potential, when a struggling but beautiful young journalist interviews a reclusive, brilliant scientist, and discovers he has made exciting new progress in creating a stunning, realistic looking android; who is trying to learn the nuances of being human. The journalist agrees to spend time with these two strange males, and a love triangle ensues. I am not going to give away any spoilers, but the whole plot hinges on a dramatic twist ending, which unfortunately seems to make nonsense of the previous half hours dialogue. Still worth watching though – especially if you like androids…