Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr
Directed By: Dan Trachtenberg
An excellent thriller that makes you question which fear is worse? Who is the monster? You know that friend who asks you, would you rather die in a car crash or an airplane crash? This film is the personification of that question. It’s also kind of a sequel to Cloverfield, but even if it wasn’t it would still be a great stand alone film.
Michelle (Winstead) is involved in a car crash and wakes up in a fallout shelter run by Howard (Goodman). Naturally, she’s skeptical of everything he says, thinking she’s his prisoner, but the presence of the neutral Emmett (Gallagher Jr) changes her initial perception. If Emmett can trust Howard, maybe he’s not all bad? Howard says the world she knew is gone. Nuclear strike, chemical attack, something. Emmett believes this to be true, and through a series of events, Michelle comes to realize some shit definitely did go down outside, but none of them actually know what. One thing she also learns… be very afraid of Howard.
Ultimately, Michelle has to choose to either stay, and fight the evil in the bunker, or leave and face the evil outside. How bad does your situation need to get before you get out?
All three actors give great performances, but I gotta give an extended clap for Goodman’s performance as Howard. He’s cuddly and warm when he needs to be, and vicious and spiteful when he needs to be. He really does put out a fully ranged performance, and he’s what makes this film extra special. My one problem with the film is that if you’re going to slap Cloverfield on it, I’m gonna need a bit more than I got at the end. We saw the aliens in Cloverfield, so there’s no real reason to hide them in the end. We expect more, and we deserve more.
If this film wasn’t a Cloverfield movie, I’d actually give this an A. But when you link it to that series, it gives us expectations, and not all my expectations were met. However, Dan Trachtenberg is now on my list of directors to watch, and this film is definitely one I’d recommend either way.
Catch this on Redbox, and turn off the lights for added effect. It’ll make you feel like Howard is standing behind you the whole time.
FINAL GRADE: A-