10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

10 Cloverfield Lane is a heart pounding thriller wrapped inside a horror, with enthralling characters, slick dialogue and constant tension that just builds, and builds, and builds, then pauses for a moment to let you breathe…and then builds, builds, builds all over again.

10 Cloverfield Lane, snuck up on all of us (don’t pretend it didn’t). The trailer dropped and everybody near lost their minds! The Twittersphere exploded with all the obvious questions. Is it a sequel? A prequel? A parallel story? Does it even have anything to do with the 2008 film Cloverfield?

Secretly being filmed under the pseudonym ‘The Cellar’ and ‘Valencia’, Dan Trachtenberg delivers a thrilling directorial debut. With a small cast and small set, expect big things!

A well versed scream queen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Final Destination 3, The Thing, Black Christmas), engrosses audiences with her captivating humanising portrayal of Michelle. After Michelle regains consciousness from a car accident, she finds herself shackled to wall in a bunker several feet below the ground. Her captor, Howard (John Goodman), urges her not to fight or try to escape as there has been a mass chemical attack, killing everyone and rendering the air unbreathable.

10 Cloverfield Field is surprisingly a very character driven film with clever dialogue. The film plays exactly to your expectations, but just when you think you know where the story is going, it back pedals and slaps you in the face. The lengthy mid section of the film is a work of expertly seesawing between claustrophobia dread and doomsday panic. The edge of your seat, fingernail chewing narrative continuously builds on psychological tension. The movie never allows you to forget the possibility that Howard might be paranoid? Delusional? Psychotic?

John Goodman is a terrific villain, and it is an absolute pleasure to see him in a dialogue heavy role, he is marvellously unnerving, he is good, he is scarily good!

However, this human scaled horror movie is let down by its final twenty minutes. After such a tight and gripping story, the action sequence feels unnecessarily tacked on. The only positive thing to take from the ending is it’s short and snappy, so before you have time to eye roll at the so vanilla Hollywood ending, the credits will be rolling.

A smart, psychological tension filled tale, with all three lead actors delivering rich performances. Just don’t let the ending leave a sour taste in your mouth.

8.5 / 10

“Crazy is building your ark after the flood has already come”




3 thoughts on “10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

    1. Hear me out. Although, the final twenty minutes is mediocre, it does not take anything away from the film. 10 Cloverfield Lane is an exceptional movie. The good outweighs the bad by faaaaaar.


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