This post contains no spoilers from the movie.
I like monster movies, especially because they don’t come around all that often, at least in terms of major US releases. So of course I was excited when the original Cloverfield arrived in 2008, especially under such a veil of secrecy. I will admit that my first watch of that movie was not a love-fest, though. The hand-held camera thing was often annoying and took you out of the moment due to the unrealistic and unbelievable nature of people filming when all hell broke loose around them. Still, I enjoyed it enough that I gave it a second chance, and subsequently have developed a soft spot for the movie.
Like a lot of people who enjoyed that first film, I paid some attention to hints of a sequel, but over the years assumed it was never going to happen. Then, without warning, 10 Cloverfield Lane was announced. And it looked like a taut thriller. Even better… John Goodman. I love John Goodman. He plays a great psycho. Just think back to him in Barton Fink, coming down that hallway with flames all around, screaming his head off. Terrifying.
I even started looking at the new Cloverfield ARG, though mostly I just checked in on what other people were doing on Reddit.
But the hype worked. I was excited to see Cloverfield 2… I mean 10 Cloverfield Lane. How related to the first film would it be? There was talk of major attacks and conspiracies. How would this all work with a monster movie? I had no idea. But at least I was intrigued. And, you know… John Goodman.
So I asked my wife if she wanted to see the new movie. Initially, she said yes, but once additional trailers came out, it didn’t look appealing to her. So I asked some friends. And I got the “Oh, I never saw the first Cloverfield. Was it any good?” response. Next.
Opening day came and went, not surprisingly. I’m not a big opening-day movie goer, anyway. But Sunday, late morning, I checked the listings and saw there was an 11:45am showing nearby. Why not?
I went solo, I admit it. And that probably is a good thing, given what happened (although one could easily argue that posting this message defeats the purpose of having no witnesses).
All right. No spoilers. We all know the movie is about people holed up in a bunker. Something may or may not be happening outside. Are they being kept safe? Are they trapped by a madman? Through 2/3 of the movie, the questions remain, but slowly a clearer picture emerges.
Then the final act comes around, and it’s time for some real answers.
I need to stop for a second.
I have spring allergies. If you have those, or any allergies, you know that they can result in sneezing, sniffling, itching eyes, and other annoying conditions. While I had been feeling some slight symptoms, nothing significant was bothering me.
Then, just at that critical moment as we were about to slip into the third act, my right eye itched and I idly rubbed at it. I really didn’t even think about it.
Oh, I need to stop again for a second.
I have fairly significant far-sightedness. And I wear contacts.
So there I was, rubbing at my allergy-laden eye, and POP! My right contact lens jumped out into the nearly pitch black theater.
One more stop.
Throughout my life, I have relied on my right eye as my workhorse eye. My left eye is a freeloading, no-good, wannabe. In other words, I now had a problem.
So when my right contact popped out, I thought, “Well, that’s fine. Movies these days are so aurally stimulating, I’m sure seeing the picture is unnecessary.” No, of course, I thought, “Oh shit! I just dropped my contact lens in a filthy and completely dark theater!” There was no way I was going to find it. No way I was going to successfully lobby the theater to pause the movie — against the protest of every other person in the auditorium — while I went home and got a new contact.
And so my options were: (a) leave and miss the ending, or (b) suck it up.
But then I had an Idea ™!!
“I know!” said I to I. “The prescription for my left eye is only slightly different from my right! I’ll take the lens out of my weaker eye and put it in my stronger one, and voila! See the end of the movie!” Problem solved.
Listen. I know. It’s gross putting things into eyes, especially from one to the other. But hear me out.
As soon as I had this idea, I acted upon it. I did not — I repeat, did NOT — spend time thinking about it.
So of course, I pulled out my second contact lens and POP! It kamikazed to the theater floor in sympathy for its fallen brethren.
And there I sat, the entire movie screen a blur, just as all the secrets of the Cloverfield universe were about to be unveiled.
So… I get it.
I mean, I GET IT.
Very, very, clever, J.J. Abrams et al. Seriously. I have no idea how you managed it. Nanobot technology? AI pathogens? Or something more low-tech? An undercover agent blowing pollen in my eye at just the right moment? It’s someone at the theater, isn’t it? The kid with dark hair and the red jacket? It is. You can tell me now, J.J. Because you’ve already won. That kid’s shifty. I should’ve known.
Sure, the movie played until the end. There was some noise. Maybe an explosion or two. Or maybe the person next to me got gassy from the popcorn. There were some dark moments, and some light.
Best part? The final act contains almost no dialog. So…
I DON’T KNOW.
I JUST DON’T KNOW.
The secret remains a secret.
The conspiracy is real.
But I’m putting extra contacts in my car in case I get a second chance.