10 Cloverfield Lane: Intelligent, Suspenseful & Downright Fun Psychological Thriller
John Gallagher Jr.John Goodman...
In 1 Cinema
Viewers going in to see 10 Cloverfield Lane might be under the assumption that it is a sequel of the fan-favourite found-footage horror, Cloverfield, which took the box-office by storm back in 2008. However, although there is a common thread between the two films, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a film with its own story to tell; one that develops into a panic-induced and claustrophobically-told horror spectacle which is both terrifying and wildly entertaining at the same time.
The story opens with Michelle (Winstead) who, after a fight with her fiancé begins packing up her clothes and personal belongings before heading out of the city and into the country. However, after a quick stop at a gas station, her car is driven off the road – Trachtenberg delivers the scene with a bang – by another driver, sending her car tumbling into a ditch and knocking her unconscious.
Finding herself waking alone on a floor mattress in a small concrete room with no windows, Michelle has no choice but to assume the worst. She soon learns that the man who brought there is Howard (Goodman); a conspiracy-nut who informs her that the air outside has been contaminated by a massive chemical attack.Skeptical of her host’s claims, Michelle is forced to believe his crazy theory, however, as time goes on, the cracks in Howard’s story soon begin to show.
Originally titled The Cellar, 10 Cloverfield Lane excels in creating an air of mystery which from the very beginning – is Howard just another perverted maniac who has made up a story to keep his ‘victims’ close or are his crazy conspiracy theories actually true – keeping a wobbly mistrust and the scepticism as the driving force of the film. Subtle when it needs to be, the story is largely set in an underground bunker, with Trachtenberg using the limited space to create silent dread and palpable tension, cleverly setting up a platform for the plot’s twists and turns.
All of the performances deliver, with Winstead coming off as a reliable horror-lead, while Goodman, saddled with an empty stare and unpredictable temper, is the true star of the show. Intelligent, focused and most of all, unnerving, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a solid debut from Trachtenberg. While the third-act may come across as a little underwhelming for some, the build keeps things engaging throughout.