10 Cloverfield Lane ★★

Watched as part of the June 2017 Letterboxd Scavenger Hunt
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#18: A Film That Was Spoiled For You, But You Haven't Seen It Yet

2017 movie viewings, #82. To be clear, the fact that I learned the surprise ending to 10 Cloverfield Lane before seeing the movie is entirely my fault; when it first came out in theaters last year, I was curious to know whether the central question of the premise was true or not (that is, whether the US really had just suffered an apocalyptic attack from aliens, the excuse John Goodman uses when kidnapping Mary Elizabeth Winstead from a car accident and imprisoning her in his underground nuclear shelter, or whether he's just some psychotic who likes kidnapping pretty young girls), but didn't want to spend 15 bucks and sit through two hours of what looked like a pretty mediocre movie to find out, so I instead just read the plot synopsis on the movie's Wikipedia page and thought at the time that I was done with the film for good. But this then a year later made it a perfect choice for this particular scavenger hunt task; and with it now free to watch via torrent, and just a half-hour commitment if watching it at 3X speed, I thought it wouldn't be so bad to finally see it even knowing beforehand how it ends.

And what's the verdict? Well, unfortunately this turned out to be exactly as lackluster and one-note as I feared it was going to be, a screenplay that started life as a spec script designed specifically for a couple of no-budget student filmmakers, and that likely would've been a pleasant surprise in the vein of It Follows or Green Room if actually made under such circumstances. But as a big-ticket Hollywood actioner with JJ Abrams' name attached, featuring famous celebrities and a marketing budget in the tens of millions, 10 Cloverfield Lane is not exactly a profound disappointment but certainly worse than a minor disappointment, a movie with an interesting first ten minutes and an interesting last ten minutes, filled in the middle with an hour and a half of, "It's not safe to go outside!" "Yes it is!" "No it's not!" "Yes it is!" "No it's not!" "Yes it is!" "No it's not!" "Yes it is!" "No it's not!" "Yes it is!" "No it's not!" "Yes it is!" "No it's not!" "Yes it is!" "No it's not!" "Yes it is!" "No it's not!" "Yes it is!" "No it's not!" "Yes it is!" "No it's not!" "Yes it is!" "No it's not!" I'm not really angry that I spent a half-hour of my life to learn this, but am definitely glad I didn't do so at the theater for full price.

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