They say Hollywood is running out of ideas. Actually it’s not that they’re running out of ideas, natatakot lang sila mag-take ng risks. Who can blame them? Nowadays it’s not enough for you to make a good movie, kailangan sabayan mo rin ng tamang marketing and social media awareness. For every movie like Inception (earned $825M), there’s a John Carter (cost $307M to produce but only earned $284M worldwide mainly because it sucked) Natatakot na ang mga studios na sumugal sa bagong ideas kaya bumabalik-balik na lang sila sa movie franchises where they found success. Just this year may lalabas na around 26 sequels and not all of these are movies that needed a sequel to begin with. (Sa totoo lang, ginusto mo ba yang Now You See Me 2? Ha? Talaga? Weh. Di ako naniniwala. Di nga? Ginusto mo? CUTE SI JESSE EISENBERG??? Seryoso ba yaa..?? Okay, nevermind)

It’s safer to stick to tried and tested concepts. Gusto mo yung Rocky? Sige maglalabas tayo ng movie tungkol dun sa anak ng kinalaban niya sa Rocky I. Gusto mo yun? Sige maglalabas tayo tungkol sa kapitbahay ng anak ng kinalaban ni Rocky sa Rocky II. Gusto mo ng pelikula tungkol sa mga love triangle at kabit-kabit? Sige maglalabas ang buong Philippine Cinema ng mga ganyang pelikula ng 5 taon. Minsan si Anne Curtis yung gagawin nating biktima pero minsan siya naman yung kabit para lang maiba naman. (Pero dapat laging yung kalbong ulo ni Derek Ramsay ang pag-aagawan. Wag tayong masyadong adventurous!)

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Obviously not Anne Curtis and Derek Ramsay

10 Cloverfield Lane is a bit of an oddity. It has the spirit of the original Cloverfield movie, but it’s also one of the most original movies we’ve seen in such a long-time. (You don’t have to see Cloverfield to see this) Parang isipin mo kung imbis na sequel sa Star Wars with Rey, Luke, etc. gumawa sila ng kuwento tungkol sa mga kamag-anak ni Chewbacca tapos yung problema nila sa nakamamatay na dandruff. Parang ganun. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, and I think it’s actually better if you go into the theater not having any idea whatsoever on what the movie is about. (E bakit pa ko gumawa ng review kung ganun? Labo ko rin e noh?) Basta ang plot niya in one sentence ay: Three people are stuck in a bunker for reasons that they’re not really sure of.

Ayos diba?

Simply put, the movie is pretty good. Though the story revolves around only 3 people and 1 setting, it keeps you interested and on the edge of your seat for almost the entire time. You keep on second guessing the motives of the characters and just when you thought that you’ve got everything figured out, it throws something at you for you to question things all over again. Mary Elizabeth Winstead did a good job with her role as the frightened girl that the audience can relate to, but it’s veteran actor John Goodman who shines in this movie. As the gatekeeper of the bunker, you’re never really sure if he’s keeping the people inside safe from outside threats or if he’s locking them away as captives for reasons yet to be known. The character he plays is as ambiguous as the purpose of the bunker he keeps. He can be warm and fatherly in one scene, yet menacing in the next one. And he transitions from one persona to the other so convincingly.

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Instagram caption: Handcuffed to a lead pipe. Can’t move. Really need to pee. #FML #selfie

There are some parts though na maiisip mo “masyado namang magaling tong bida na to naisip niya pa yun.” Those parts I didn’t like so much but for the sake of the plot you just have to gloss over them and accept them as part of the storytelling. Kaya nga to movie hindi documentary e. But we have to give credit to first time full-length film director Dan Trachtenberg. This film is impressive for a first effort. It has the feel of a murder-mystery like Psycho but the scale of a big budget sci-fi movie. The score was provided by long-time The Walking Dead composer Bear McCreary so it shares that same feeling of dread and terror as the TV show. This movie really is a strange animal and it’s very refreshing.

These are the kinds of movies that I wish we also made here in the Philippines. Hindi naman kailangan ng matinding special effects para gumawa ng ganitong klaseng pelikula e. Bakit natin kailangan ma-limit sa romantic comedies and love triangles diba? 10 Cloverfield Lane is the perfect example of what clever writing and great acting can result to.  It’s been a while since we last saw a good sci-fi/mystery movie in the cinemas. Kung nagsasawa ka na sa mga superhero movies, sequels, and local romantic comedies, then this movie is a nice change of pace. Go see it in theaters before it gets replaced by the next summer blockbuster.

8/10

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