If you read my post on the 10 Cloverfield Lane movie trailer then you know my level of excitement about the “blood relative” and “spiritual successor” to 2008’s Cloverfield. I lost days and weeks of my life to the deep and intricate rabbit hole created by that film’s viral marketing. Most, if not all, of the backstory and material from those promotions didn’t make it into the film… at least, at first glance, to the naked eye. As it turns out, the movie was loaded with subtle, discreet references.
However, it seems no matter how many times you watch the flick, the answers still don’t come and the questions begin to pile up. With so many blanks to fill in, fans had a field day hypothesizing and constructing possible narratives. As we got closer to 10 Cloverfield Lane hitting theaters, the viral marketing kicked in again, tuning participants up to tin foil hat status. So, I thought I’d dive on in and decorate my walls with an elaborate web of red yarn connecting pieces of evidence together.
Just when I was willing to move on from the franchise and unmash my brains, here I was decoding and deciphering. I didn’t learn my lesson. Was all the trouble worth it? I don’t know. I do know that 10CL is playing and I haven’t seen it yet. After all the articles and threads I’ve read, I’m skeptical about what I’m getting into. I’m hesitant. Did the producers merely slap “Cloverfield” on knowing it would attract a bigger audience? Are there really almost no connections to the original? WHY ARE YOU MESSING WITH MY MELON, JJ ABRAMS?!?! Yes. And that’s what drives the franchise. The mind-melting mystique.
The film reportedly had a budget of $5 million (even THAT was questioned by many) and has already made around $9 million with projected weekend gross of approximately $25 million. The reviews have been great and though the desire to fill in blanks from the first film probably won’t die down nor will I be satiated, the reviews point out the film’s worthy of our attention and affection. Critics have gone so far as to say 10CL could change movie franchises.
Kristopher Tapley of Variety suggested that John Goodman should be considered for an Oscar. Mary Elizabeth Winstead has also received props for her performance. Plus, there’s the darkhorse John Gallagher, Jr. With all the focus on Goodman and Winstead’s characters, Gallagher’s flies under the radar and could be the difference maker. I still can’t wrap my head around how the cast was unaware of the connection to Cloverfield until the trailer released. Just… ham bananas.