Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Saturday Matinee Redux

I will never forget going to those Saturday matinees at the Kimball Theater on Yonkers Avenue in...wait for it...Yonkers, New York.   Walking distance from my house on South 15th Avenue in Mount Vernon, New York.   The Saturday fare was always the same.  A cartoon.   A comedy usually from the archives of Abbott and Costello.   And a monster movie.

"10 Cloverfield Lane" unintentionally brings me back to the latter.  An old fashioned thriller that is so masterfully made to scare the pellets out of you. And just when you think it's one kind of movie, it turns into another kind of movie.   And then once you're settled there, it switches again into that nifty film I used to see at the Kimball.  It's part this, part that, and all fun.

Michelle is this chick living in Lake Charles, Louisiana who suddenly gets into her car to go someplace else.   Why?   We don't know.   Words are used sparingly in this script.   But, her fiance is calling on the cell and trying to reach her.   By the way, yes, you will recognize Bradley Cooper's voice as the boyfriend.  

While on her way to God knows where, there is a loud boom and then she's in a devastating car crash.   She wakes up in chains in some basement cell and you suddenly think this is a revisit of Brie Larson in "Room."   Her captor...or maybe he's not...is some survivalist kook played by John Goodman.   He saved her life.  Or did he.  Nevertheless, along with some other dude he's pulled from the road, they are all in this underground bunker built specifically for the nuclear war which may or may not be here.  Goodman says they are the only three people left in America.   Or are they?

That's the big fun in this film.   You never know what's next.   And just what the motivations are of each character.   When you think you know, the gears shift.   It's an out-of-control ride that does so much with just facial expressions.  There is an agenda here.  Or maybe there's not.  And there is a new development at every turn.

I won't tell you more because that would spoil the magic of "10 Cloverfield Lane."   If part of that title sounds familiar, you might recall the "Cloverfield" movie from a few years back.   In that, the hand held camerawork apparently had folks throwing up their Raisinets.   That was all about an unseen monster terrorizing New York City.   Is this a sequel to that?   Or not.  Well, to tell you more wouldn't be fair.   You just have to find out for yourself.

For a horror movie in 2016, this film is just grand.   But, it's also very reminiscent of one of those spooky movies from the 1950s and 1960s.   And that's just fine, too.

Check it out.

LEN'S RATING:  Three-and-a-half stars.

Dinner last night:  Chicken sausage, pickled beets, and salad.

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