After nearly a decade, fans of the creepy 2008 original film Cloverfield can finally be treated with 10 Cloverfield Lane, an extremely intense and psychological thriller, more so than a monster film. Where this could disappoint some people, I left the theatre immensely satisfied.
After a young woman named Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) gets into a brutal car crash while driving late at night. Spotting the wreckage, a man named Howard (John Goodman) takes her in to his underground bunker where he forces her to stay, as he tells her that if she were to step outside, she would die right away.
I absolutely loved the first Cloverfield film. That film was so creepy and unsettling, and it was one of the greatest monster films that entire decade. When I heard that they were developing a new film in the Cloverfield series, I was extremely excited to see what they would be doing next.
Something I loved about 10 Cloverfield Lane is that nearly every scene has an element of suspense within it. You are always questioning things, in particular, Goodman’s character Howard. He tells Michelle that if she were to go outside, she would die right away. But, he never really explains why or what exactly will happen if she were to walk outside. This, naturally, creates an element of suspense, and makes the viewer question whether or not Howard is telling the truth, or simply lying to her.
The characters in the film are also extremely interesting, mainly Howard and Michelle. Each character has something drastically important to either do or say in 10 Cloverfield Lane which I found fascinating. Not a single character is a throwaway character which was so pleasing to see.
10 Cloverfield Lane‘s sound design was also marvellous. So many scenes went by where you hear subtle thumps in the distance, and it makes you wonder what exactly it was. Could it just be somebody walking around in the bunker, or, could it be something else? The film sets up questions, and ensures that the audience is always in a state of wonderment.
Die-hard fans of the original 2008 Cloverfield picture may be disappointed, however, with 10 Cloverfield Lane. This is because the film is not at all a monster film, whereas the 2008 film definitely was. All I can say, is that if you are a big fan of the 2008 film and are going to see 10 Cloverfield Lane, expect a claustrophobic and gripping thriller in a single location, and you should be greatly satisfied.
The acting in the film is additionally amazing. Winstead delivers the best performance of her entire career here. She is given little dialogue to speak as the character Michelle, but she does have to do a large portion of the acting using just her facial expressions. Every time I saw her on screen, I knew exactly what emotion she was feeling, and it was truly great. Also amazing in 10 Cloverfield Lane is Goodman who portrays Howard. His character is extremely unnerving, and you are never quite sure if you can trust what he is saying or not.
However, the ending did kind of disappoint me a little bit. The rest of the film had an established tone and feel, whereas the ending betrayed this tone, and basically transitioned to an entirely different genre. It felt so sudden and jarring.
10 Cloverfield Lane is an extremely thrilling film with excellent performances from Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman, and contains a sense of pure dread.
Overall Grade: A
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material including frightening sequences of threat with some violence, and brief language
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr.
Directed by: Dan Trachtenberg
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Running Time: 104 minutes