Fans of the original Cloverfield have been eagerly awaiting a sequel, but that’s not what this is. It’s in the same sci-fi genre, but they didn’t tack on the often cash grabbing #2 to the title for a reason. This is more of a spiritual successor which is also a psychological thriller. And it’s fantastic.
The film starts with a young woman waking up after a terrible accident to find that she’s locked in a cellar with a doomsday prepper, who insists that he saved her life and that the world outside is uninhabitable following an apocalyptic catastrophe. Uncertain what to believe, the woman soon determines that she must escape at any cost.
Why? Because John Goodman is scary as fuck! I did not think he had it in him. I’ve always kind of seen him as a lovable John Candy type, but he takes creepy to a whole new level in this and rocks it. When he initially meets the girl, he’s literally a guy who has her locked in his basement, warning her to not go outside. He comes across as so nuts that even though Cloverfield is in the name, you start to wonder if he’s just insane. Plus, there’s a subplot involving the mysterious disappearance of Howard’s teenage daughter that leaves you a bit concerned as to his credibility.
Created and filmed in near-total secrecy under the title “Valencia,” this character-driven, tension-filled tale of terror was written by Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken and Damien Chazelle and directed by Adams’ protégé, rookie Dan Trachtenberg, to elicit as much apprehension as possible. The palpable dread is amplified by Jeff Cutter’s cinematography and composer Bear McCreary’s forboding score.
This is an extremely well done movie that uses every single available resource to its fullest. It’s rare to see such dimensional characters in a horror, but these characters had to drive the movie, as much of it happens in a bunker.
I’m glad that this wasn’t Cloverfield 2. This movie deserves to stand on its own. It doesn’t have the same effect of Cloverfield, but it’s still a strong contender for a great classic horror that’s well plotted and well made. This is an intelligent movie that’s also a commercial success. Audiences have pushed it to number 2 in the box office, ensuring another great success for the Cloverfield brand.
This is worth going to the theater for, though it’s probably a bit scary for kids. The last thing you want is them worried that John Goodman is under their bed. So probably best for teens and up when looking at audiences. It’s well written enough to please critics, while exciting enough to delight the average movie goer. They packed a lot of tension into such a simple film, and it’s particularly unsettling because you’re as confused as the main character. Is John Goodman evil, or is the world a radioactive wasteland? It’s a question that will keep you guessing until the end.
Absolutely worth the watch. This movie is one that should not be missed, though it might give you nightmares about John Goodman for years to come.
WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!