Happy Halloween! “C.H.U.D.” (1984) was another science fiction-horror movie that I and the kids on my street really enjoyed back in the day — it was a bit of a legend in my peer group, and it actually scared me a little. The monsters were a lot of fun. They were gross and ferocious, and they popped snarling out of the shadows of the New York City sewer system, and that’s the sort of thing that holds a middle school boy’s attention.
The movie boasts a young John Heard and Daniel Stern among its leads, and none other than a pre-fame John Goodman in a minor role as a cop. (It was only his fourth film role.)
I’d love to hunt this flick down and revisit it. I have no idea how well it’s held up since the 80’s, but I can’t say I’m hopeful — its audience score over at Rotten Tomatoes is just 32%.
“10 Cloverfield Lane” (2016) is a capably written and well performed thriller; it might not be quite worth the high praise it seems to be receiving elsewhere, but I’d still give it an 8 out of 10.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead actually is terrific actress. She has far more to do here than her one-note heroine in 2011’s underrated “The Thing” prequel, and she performs beautifully. John Goodman is perfect as a mentally ill, dubious savior. John Gallagher, Jr. does just fine as a good-natured everyman in over his head.
I did think that “10 Cloverfield Lane” ran a little long for its content. This could have easily been an especially well executed episode of a one-hour show like “The Outer Limits” or “The Twilight Zone.” It’s feature-length format felt a little padded. We don’t need the prologue explaining why Winstead’s character is traveling. Nor do we need the movie’s slowly building character arc for Goodman’s “Howard.” (We know to suspect his stability from the trailer.)
This appears to have very little to do with “Cloverfield” (2008).