Written by Nelson Cumming
I had watched Green Room prior to seeing 10 Cloverfield Lane. Both of them are really good thrillers and both are comparable to each other. I saw both at the correct time and setting (midnight with the lights off) and both were engrossing in its suspense. 10 Cloverfield Lane has a lot of good things going for it.
Explaining the premise and the story would be very complicated without spoiling it so this is going to be very vague. Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has just left her husband with the ring on the chest of draws. As she drives away, a car collides with her in an accident that leaves her unconscious. When she wakes up, her leg is chained to a wall in a bunker that Howard (John Goodman) has built.
When John Goodman is on, he is Awesome
The main crux of the movie is the motivations of John Goodman’s character so I’ll just say there are leanings to suggest that he is a good person that is protecting Michelle “from the outside” or if he has sinister motives to her and Emmit (John Gallagher Jr.) a neighbour that Howard lets in the bunker to protect him “from the outside”
Which is what makes John Goodman so brilliant is that he keeps you guessing. At times I thought he was charming and at other times I thought something was wrong with him as he is an obsessive compulsive conspiracy theorist. He has moments in 10 Cloverfield Lane that make him unsettling and unpredictable. Those moments are the high spots in the movie. The best scene involves a game of charades between him, Emmet and Michelle. He alone makes this movie.
The last 15-20 minutes: uhhh…
Goodman alone was so good that for thirty minutes in, I thought 10 Cloverfield Lane was going to top Green Room. That was until the last fifteen minutes.
The last fifteen minutes has been debatable for those who have seen 10 Cloverfield Lane whether it was a good ending or not. I thought the ending was underwhelming. The ending didn’t fit well tonally with everything prior to it. It’s almost completely rooted outside to the movie’s internal logic. I believe it was just a way to set up a sequel and not a suitable conclusion.
Nevertheless, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a good thriller with great memorable moments and has a great performance from the great John Goodman but because of the ending, I believe it is inferior to Green Room. 10 Cloverfield does achieve what a thriller sets out to do: To immerse us through jarring intensity ***3/4