ViniciusBrito’s review published on Letterboxd:
A woman, Michelle, that wanted to work as a stylist, had a fight with her boyfriend and decided to go away. While she was on the road a car hitted her and she passed out, when she awakes she is in a locked room handcuffed and broken, than she mets a man that she had never seen before, the man, Howard, tells her that something happened that they wouldn't survive if theh go out, so they keep lliving at the bunker with another guy named Emmett. Directed by Ben Trachtenberg and written by Josh Campbell, Matt Stuecken and Damien Chazelle.
The biggest problem in Cloverfield (2008), was the previous part of the actual stuff and how that affected the whole movie after that, in here, yes, there is a explanation of what is going on in the character's life, and it does work, because it is fast and works to let you know the character just fine so as it is crucial for the story to happens, so it isn't for free or anything bad, it is a great way to introduce in here. The story overall it is really fine, they first try to give us a mystery, for those that already know the Cloverfield franchise that mystery won't work, because these people will already know what is true or not about what is going on outside, but for those that are going to watch it without knowing what the series is about, i think that it will be really nice to figure things and never be sure of the outside world, just like the characters. Wich lead us to say that the characters would be extremely important to work, there are only three characters to interact and they had to be really good and different, and that is exactly what it is, each character have his function for the narrative and all work, you truly care about what is going on. The sequence of facts feels really natural and well done, you first got a mystery from the character, Michelle, perspective, wich works, than you got slowly introduced to the situation by Howard's words, and then got to know the whole bunker and it's rules in a way that you understand very well without getting any boring. The character of Emmett does give a nice personality contrast to work with Howard and for Michelle, the chemistry works fine. During the course of the story there are some really good plot twists, while it goes it does give some more layers to the characters and things got way more scarier and definely got my attention more and more, you got to know the characters more deep and caring more and more for them. There are a few moments where things felt, not just rushed, but the characters could have said something better, like invent things and use creativity, like it was already shown that they had creativity, doing something smart instead of just tearing things apart that easy. There some dialogues where things feels a little unnatural.More at the end there are a big tone difference compared to the whole movie, i do think that in some moments at the ending things went well and in others it got lost, there are somethings that felt just to easy or didn't really made me buy, but in overall the ending worked for me.
I have read another person saying about a metaphor in this story, and i found it really interesting, so i'm gonna put it in here. So it will have some SPOILERS in this paragraph. It consists in facing the unknown, getting out of the comfort zone. The person said that the characters would represent characteristics from the character Michelle, Emmett would represent hesitation and fear, Howard accommodation and safety. The movie talks much about umconfortable/safety for being in a bunker. All the attempts to leave the bunker are frustrade by Howard. And only when Emmett, the hesitation, dies, the protagonist can overcome Howard and leave the bunker to face aliens, wich would represent the unkown itself. So it would be like she overcame the hesitation, get away of the sense of safety in the comfort zone for literally confront the unkown. The last scene would reinforce this, when she hear in the radio that a city is already under control and Houston are still in war and in need for help, and then she chooses Houston to go. END OF SPOILERS.
The technique aspects in here are very good, it can give different senses for who is watching, a claustrophobic moment or a discovering with open plans. The camera movimentation and closing up are really good. The sound design are also nice, hearing things depending from where they are was really important, the mis-en-scene was good, you could have a good idea of how it would feel to be inside of that bunker. The design of the whole place is really nice, you can get where is where or where they are going, it is fluid. The soundtrack is really good, we do hear a lot of songs in this movie as well, and they really worked fine, it helped on giving the scenes some structure.
The acting works really fine. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is great, she gave many aspects in here, trying to be conviction, being extremely nervous but holding it down, she really convinces me in everything she did, very good performance. John Goodman is also very fine in this film, he first give a calm character that is trying to do the right thing, but you can clearly see that he is unstable, that he could do anything in any moment and that gives some thriller to the movie. John Gallagher Jr. have a more trickster and joking kind of way, his character isn' much challenging but he did fine.
Anothee thing that this movie made me think about, is that it discusses is what they wanted to do before they got there, like why they didn' do certain things, because the society wouldn' be ok with tattos or they didn' traveled as much as they wanted for their fault, and that makes me think, if life would end up tomorrow or the society wouldn't exist but you, what regrets you would have?
This film is really good, it does have a nice confinement atmosphere, a nice story with plot twists, some things weren't well solved, some dialogues could have been more tricky, but overall it is a really dope film.