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10 Cloverfield Lane: A Solid Thriller That Creates a Terrifying New Monster

March 11, 2016

10 Cloverfield Lane Movie Poster

I can’t wait to hear the audience reaction towards 10 Cloverfield Lane in the upcoming days and weeks. It has received a massive marketing push and the curiosity/buzz surrounding it is epic. However, sequel expectations are going to throw a lot of people for a loop. I really enjoyed the movie, and thought it was a well-put-together thriller that features some very good performances. However, if people are expecting a movie about hipsters battling a blurry monster they will be disappointed.

10 Cloverfield Lane tells the story of three people waiting out the apocalypse in a bunker. They all got to the bunker differently, and their existence underground is anything but peaceful. The movie goes to some dark places that I totally didn’t expect, and I was really happy to see it ditch the stock sequel cliches (bigger, louder, bigger). There is a link to Cloverfield, but this movie shouldn’t be looked at as a direct sequel. 10 Cloverfield Lane takes place in the same world, but on opposite poles.

What makes 10 Cloverfield Lane work so well are the performances. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is fantastic as the imprisoned Michelle. When we first meet her, she is driving away from a bad relationship and her vehicle gets unexpectedly smashed. She wakes up chained to a wall, still bloody and totally confused. She is imprisoned in a doomsday haven, and we soon learn there is another “trapped” fellow named Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.). The two form an unlikely bond as they get used to their life under the rule of the bonkers Howard (John Goodman).

10 CloverField Lane

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What I love about Michelle is she is industrious, intelligent and believable. I’ve always been a fan of Winstead’s work and I was really happy to see her get a showcase role. She adds a maturity and toughness that doesn’t feel forced and you actually like her as a character. She is always looking to escape, but, also realizes just how insane the outside world has become. She is stuck between a rock and a hard place, so she spends her time figuring out how to survive.

10 cloverfield Lane Mary Elizabeth Winstead

You definitely won’t find a signal in a doomsday bunker.

John Goodman is terrifying in his role of bunker builder and bully. He uses every inch and ounce of his body to create a multilayered monster of a man. His character Howard Stambler is a doomsday preparation specialist who has quirks aplenty and an always simmering temper. He was supposedly in the Navy for many years and he thinks the world is under attack by something alien (not wrong). Howard is the the living embodiment of a nightmare, and his interactions with Michelle and Emmett are spine-tingling.   I really hope Goodman is remembered come awards time because he is awesome in this film.

I won’t go into what happens next. This movie should be enjoyed with a blank slate and wide open expectations. Don’t expect too much monster mayhem and instead prepare yourself for a neat little chamber thriller. Kudos to Director Dan Trachenberg for  creating a claustrophobic atmosphere and delivering a taut peice of work.

Sit back, relax, and appreciate a tiny film that is making giant waves.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. John Leavengood permalink
    March 12, 2016 10:01 am

    This film was neither what I walked in wanting or expecting…not at all. AND I LOVED IT ANYWAY!

    • March 12, 2016 10:53 am

      I hope people don’t rebel against it because of expectations. It is such a solid little thriller. Goodman scared the crap out of me. He is so good.

      • John Leavengood permalink
        March 12, 2016 12:51 pm

        That’s a majorly legitimate concern. A lot of people will go in expecting a certain kind of film and not get it…and yeah, sometimes that inspires outcry in the less open-minded movie-goer. I’ve been a victim of that in the past, myself. It’s a difficult place reviewers are in–do you spoil the movie by revealing it’s true nature and letting people know all the things it’s not (that they expected) or do you leave them in the dark, thus maintaining the integrity of a film that (for a change) wasn’t spoiled by the trailers? I prefer that I was surprised. Excellent movie experience for me. #GoodmanOscar

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