3 out of 5 stars
Finally managed to catch up with this film a few months late and surprisingly I was able to block most of the spoilers to find…. well, it doesn’t really matter in the end. This is a tightly scripted and solidly executed thriller with no big marquee names. The main trio of actors are all on fine form, playing up the ambiguities, especially in the case of John Goodman who is always immensely watchable, to sustain the mysteries and tension of the film. In essence, it’s one of those small films, both budgetary and scale-wise, that comes out once in a while, does a little business in theatres and then slips comfortably into Netflix or your local VOD channel for people to discover. And had that happened, I would have found the concept and execution both intriguing and clever enough to warrant maybe a higher star rating. Here, however, lumbered with the moniker as it does, it jacks up expectations even though admittedly, as a marketing strategy it is pure genius. As a result, the Cloverfield bits come across as tacked-on and my problem with it is not that it doesn’t work within what was its original narrative framework but that it feels unnecessarily gimmicky.