Cloverfield (2008)

The handheld camerawork adds a unique realism to the usual monster movie proceedings, but it’s honestly really difficult to watch without getting a headache, especially during the first 20 minutes pre-monster (the ironic “good day” bookends are a nice touch though). Still, good acting (even if the characters are kind of annoying), solid suspense (the gradual monster reveal throughout is nicely done; the reveal in the tunnel absolutely terrifying) and good VFX make this worth sticking out.

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)


Orbiting a planet on the brink of war, scientists test a device to solve an energy crisis, and end up face-to-face with a dark alternate reality. (IMDb)
Cheesy expository dialogue and a chemistry-less cast of characters get things off to a rough start, but it sort of morphed into an enjoyably campy sci-fi romp with an appreciably eclectic cast when there was just a bunch of super weird/gross things happening (“What are you talking about, arm?”). But before long, uber-serious and unintelligible science-y plot-speak, bland character drama, and a distant-in-every-way side plot on earth take over and ruin the film’s chances of being decent.
5.5/10 (Poor)


10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)


After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack. (IMDb)
An immediate and enrapturing atmosphere of claustrophobic anxiety and unsettling suspicion (Goodman’s great turn as the odd and volatile Howard is perfectly complimented by Winstead’s tense and assertive Michelle) is heightened nicely by an initially inscrutable third party, and given a well-timed twist (see the lady outside). Given its build-up, climax, and overall feel, the extended ending–while appreciably unexpected–feels like an entirely different movie–but it’s still a good one.
7.5/10 (Really Good)