It isn’t surprising that Julius Onah’s The Cloverfield Paradox is not a good film. However, it turned out even worse than what I could have ever imagined. Cloverfield Paradox is a mind-numbingly boring, generic, and horribly shot movie that doesn’t know what story it wants to tell and what type of movie it wants to be.
The cinematography in this movie is all medium shots and close-ups. It is about as generic as cinematography can come from a science fiction film. Even the visual style is uninspired. Passengers (2016) and Life (2017), two other forgettable sci-fi movies that came out recently. Even Alien: Covenant (2017) looked bland from the aspect of set design. All of these movies seem to just take screens and make them have all types of different things on them and things purposefully look slick and polished. The editing does not help matters and neither does the poor foley in certain scenes. I specifically am talking about includes the worst gunshot noise I have ever heard in a film a top of the nearly nonexistent and lazy editing.
“Well, we found the worms” is just a little taste of the disgraceful dialogue that is in this movie. The plot is predictable. If they were aiming for a “scary” and “mysterious” movie then they should have tried to take out all the cliches before doing so. There was so many times in which I sighed due to the amount of reused plot points. Also if the film was not dull enough it is predictable as well.
The most disappointing thing about The Cloverfield Paradox is that Netflix had a chance to show the other big studios that they too could also release their films on there streaming service. Unfortunately, all Netflix was to Paramount in this was a dumping ground for a movie that the studio executives were afraid to release in cinemas; and if Netflix doesn’t raise their standards on what content they will purchase than I fear that other studios will use them for the same reason.
McG’s The Babysitter is a movie that could have only really thrived on a service like Netflix. I doubt that most (including me) would go to a theater and see a movie such as this. It doesn’t set out to be high art of any kind, which is completely fine. It just aims to be entertaining, scary and funny; and at least it succeeds at the first one.
At a lightning fast 85 minutes, this movie just flies by. Even though the editing had some odd choices, such as editing animated text into scenes (maybe to capitalize on people making GIFs?) or a strangely-inserted POV sequence it was never dull as everything is so nicely condensed and nothing is focused on for longer than it should be. One editing choice that I also found to be unnecessary was the use of flashbacks to scenes from earlier in the movie before Cole (Judah Lewis) would do something. It ruins some of the intelligence of the movie and was just plain lazy to blatantly tell the audience.
With a one exception, the characters in this movie don’t matter. The main character, Cole though an arc that feels rushed and happens mostly all during the finale. Bee (Samara Weaving), was the best character undoubtedly. Weaving helps bring her character to life, making her a charismatic, funny, and relateable character…who happens to be a psychopath. Bee’s friends however, are all just stereotypes that have been recycled again and again from other high school coming of age films. Which, by the looks of it seemed to be the intention but, it was an unsuccessful attempt at that. All of Bee’s friends were rarely ever funny and just came off as cannon fodder for the gruesome violence that entailed. The worst of these performances however, was Bella Thorne’s as Allison; the high school cheerleader archetype of the movie. Her comedic delivery and acting in general was horrendous and the movie would have been at least marginally better if she was not cast in the movie.
The Babysitter borrows from many other, undoubtedly better movies. Most notably, Home Alone (1990). It is a bit of a genre-Frankenstein of some sorts. Not really being scary and not being very funny either. It’s just a short and entertaining “turn-your-brain off” movie that best watched on late sleepy nights