I have no idea if I’ll have the time to try it out this week, but if I do, I’ll post my thoughts on it soon. In the meantime, here’s what rahdo has to say about it:
When I reviewed Man of Steel a few years ago, I felt it necessary to get all of my complaints out of the way first because there was a decent movie beneath the generous helping of crap. This time around I want to switch it up and get all the good stuff out of the way.
10 Cloverfield Lane Review (Extremely Spoiler-Free)
I kind of dislike going to the movie theater and sitting through the trailers I’ve already seen on my computer. Yeah, I know the obvious solution is to refrain from watching trailers online, but I don’t know which trailers will show before the movies I actually see in theaters. In fact, I’d rather not know. The biggest reason I dislike internet trailers is I already know what movie it’s advertising by the time I’ve clicked the link. Sometimes even the thumbnail on YouTube spoils the best part of the trailer.
Maybe it’s just nostalgia, but there’s something magical about watching a trailer for the first time in a theater, especially when it takes an unexpected turn. The 10 Cloverfield Lane trailer sucked me in immediately. My heart swelled and I got giddy as the previously cheery “I Think We’re Alone Now” slowed down and deepened in pitch, confirming our suspicions that something sinister was afoot. Not only had I never heard of this movie, I couldn’t wait to get home and watch the trailer again. (It’s worth noting the two least spoilery trailers of recent memory both involved J.J. Abrams: this movie and The Force Awakens. I can only hope he starts a trend in which Hollywood no longer shows off its best moments for free.)
I’ve usually filled you in on the basic plot details by now, but I want to discuss anything but that. As with the original Cloverfield, it’s best to go into it without having any idea what it’s really about. When you know you’re getting Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman—two of the most likable actors alive—what more do you need? I’ll tell you this: I loved 10 Cloverfield Lane. If you’re expecting a “normal” movie, there are moments when you’ll say, “Come on!” but the filmmakers know exactly what they’re doing. What they’re doing is eschewing everything they learned about routine filmmaking.
Instead of discussing the plot, I’ll just tell you what I was expecting: you remember that wonderful Twilight Zone episode in which Larry Gates builds a bomb shelter and everyone laughs at him until they find out the bombs are actually coming? And then how quickly the shroud of suburban life came crashing down at the worst possible time? That’s what I was expecting, only with monsters.
A couple of men, covered in blood, are driving down an old desert highway. The passenger looks out the window and spots something demonic hovering above the plains in the distance. When the driver asks him what’s wrong, the man brushes away his friend’s concern. Whatever it is that’s after these two guys isn’t natural, but they’ve been dealing with it long enough that they’ve become inured to its presence.
See the first seven minutes below:
Following the conclusion of that opening sequence, another group of travelers attract the camera’s attention. Over the course of the next hour or so, we’ll be drifting from one character’s point of view to another, on or about the same desolate highway. Although these are some of the same people who brought us the V/H/S films, to call Southbound an anthology movie is misleading. I think it’s just protagonistically challenged.
What a time to be alive. After a decade or so of mostly terrible horror, 2015 has been the best year for the genre since the eighties. We Are Still Here paid homage to Fulci, It Follows to Carpenter, Deathgasm to Raimi and Jackson, and now Southbound seems to be influenced by everyone in between including Lovecraft and Craven. The kids raised on Video Nasties are the ones making movies now. Thanks to them, the genre is successfully making up for the late 90s and early 2000s, when all the films either looked too shitty or too slick. Southbound is the latest missionary in the revolution.
A lot of horror movies don’t make a lot of sense because they don’t have to. There are times Southbound feels like it doesn’t make sense, but it’s not to the film’s detriment. You get the feeling early on that its madness is intentional, while the jarring nature of its focus-shifts gives it the qualities of a terrible nightmare. A few seconds short of ninety minutes, the film’s brevity also feels dreamlike. Most horror films drag on a little too long while this one gets in, gets out, and leaves you wanting more.
If you’re wondering if it’s better than V/H/S, it is. This time the tone remains uniform throughout. It doesn’t feel like a bunch of short stories with only superficial connections. This is a bonafide movie and a pretty good one at that.
To say I love Blade Runner would be an understatement. The Final Cut is my second favorite movie of all time. I love the look of the film, the music, and the casting is perfect. Not only do the special effects hold up, they’re better than damn near anything that came out in the last few years. I can read about the production (particularly the set design) for hours at a time. “I’ve seen things… you people wouldn’t believe,” is one of the most insightful lines ever spoken in a movie—something I think about almost everyday. It’s also why I thought Ex Machina was the best movie of 2015. That movie, in turn, made me realize a Blade Runner sequel could still have a lot left to say.
“Totally, the thing I must say is that I love mystery. I love shadows. I love doubts. I would just want to say to the fans that we will take care of that mystery. I will take care of it.”