Warning: 10 Cloverfield Lane is a case of the less you know the better. A film that plays with your expectations and perspectives. It keeps you in the dark about what is going on. I will not spoil anything in this review, but you should definitely watch it before you read this. You can come back afterwards.
10 Cloverfield Lane is a tense thriller, carried by strong performances from Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman. It’s a game of a cat-and-mouse in a contained environment, after the end of the world. The film does not directly acknowledge its predecessor, 2008’s Cloverfield, a found footage monster movie. It should be seen as more of a spinoff, and your expectations should be very tame in that regard. 10 Cloverfield Lane for the most part is a very different movie, but one that manages to be engaging from beginning to end.
Dan Trachtenberg’s sequel (or spinoff), is a tense affair, without much flair, there’s nothing visually remarkable, and it doesn’t explore deep themes as this type of movies tend to do. However, you will definitely be entertained, as you will be guessing, questioning and be excited (or turned off) by its ending.
10 Cloverfield Lane was involved in secrecy during its development, under the name “The Cellar”. Initially the film was not included in the world of Cloverfield. This is noticeable, because save for a couple of subtle clues, one main factor, and plenty of viral clues out there 10 Cloverfield Lane could stand on its own. Some of you might not like the direction it takes, I absolutely loved it.
There is a sense of unease throughout the film, perpetuated by the excellent performances of Goodman and Winstead. Goodman’s performance is beyond creepy, perfectly capturing a man on the edge of sanity. Goodman manages to offer nuance to a character, that in the hands of someone less capable would just be a crazy maniac. Winstead matches Goodman, the more I see of this lady the more she has to offer as an actress. Faults and Fargo come to mind, and then you see what I am talking about.
The final chapter of “10 Cloverfield Lane” will either make you say some bad words, or make you excited. I lean more towards the latter. The last half-hour of the film takes a risky step presenting new challenges. Does it make sense narratively? Yes, I think so. However, departing from the most of the film’s tone could be a negative factor some.
“10 Cloverfield Lane” is tense and riveting, and says “the hell with it” at the end. A must watch.
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