Friday, March 11, 2016

Movie Review: "10 Cloverfield Lane"

Don't get confused and think that 10 Cloverfield Lane is a sequel to 2008's found footage monster movie, Cloverfield.  While both movies have Cloverfield in the title, these really are more like sister stories produced by the same production company.

The movie kicks off with Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) getting into a car crash.  When she awakes she finds herself in a fallout shelter belonging to survivalist Howard (John Goodman), who claims that there was an attack that left the world outside irradiated.  Everything beyond the basic set up is best left to discover on your own, because this movie truly is an edge of your seat popcorn movie.

The whole movie has this sense of paranoia that really oozes off of the screen and infects you as you watch it.  Is Howard telling the truth?  If there was a cataclysmic attack, who did it?  And even if both of these things are true, is Howard an evil man?  I remember reading that J.J. Abrams likened these two Cloverfield movies to The Twilight Zone, and 10 Cloverfield Lane does feel very much like a more intense, modernized Twilight Zone episode.  There are enough twists and turns here that keep you riveted till the credits roll, with a lot of the credit belonging to the slew of writers and first-time feature director, Dan Trachtenberg.

Almost all of the movie takes place in Howard's fallout shelter, which for a ninety plus minute movie, is a writer and director's nightmare.  It would have been very easy for the movie to have grown stale and boring, but the writers and Trachtenberg manage to keep the tension up, and Trachtenberg continues to find interesting camera angles.  As well, the movie has occasional fits of humor amidst the darkness to alleviate the tension, which is where having a talent like John Goodman makes the movie work in a way it wouldn't otherwise.  John Goodman is better here than I've seen him in years, and that's all I'll say about his performance, cause you need to see it for yourself.

All in all, while I admit this movie may not be for everyone, if you like suspenseful sci-fi movies, this really is a no-brainer must see.  10 Cloverfield Lane is a unique and intense movie that answers just enough to be satisfying, but leaves enough questions hanging to have you theorizing long after the movie is over.

I give 10 Cloverfield Lane a 9 out of 10!

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