This movie is the directorial debut of Dan Trachtenberg who is known for his fan film “Portal: No Escape.” Because the film shares a similar name with the 2008 movie directed by JJ Abrams, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a movie that had a lot of expectations to meet. The trailers for this film made you think of the connections between the two films and what is going on in this movie? Prepare yourselves for what’s to come in this spoiler free review.
10 Cloverfield Lane follows Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who is driving away from her home. She is involved in a car accident that leads her to be taken in by Howard (John Goodman). Howard has an underground bunker and is a conspiracy theorist who was ready for the apocalypse. Michelle finds herself in the bunker and tries to get out of her cell. It is hard for her to trust Howard because she was locked in a room with her leg handcuffed to a pipe. After she is let out of her cell to use the restroom we meet Emmett (John Gallagher). The three need to live together in order to survive their current situation.
This movie is a very close corridor suspense film. Trachtenberg scales down a post-apocalyptic movie to fit in a bunker. He uses mistrust and clues to a darker secret that Howard may hold to keep the audience captive. John Goodman as Howard is creepy and scary. His mannerisms and backstory makes the audience wonder what is going on and is it really true that the world ended. Michelle is also a strong character well trying to live with someone who may or may not be insane. This movie is very tight and keeps the suspense coming. It does answer the questions but other questions are asked.
Originally this movie was not connected at all to Cloverfield but towards the end of production Paramount wanted to give it the Cloverfield name and it made sense because it was a Bad Robot movie. Do not let the name fool you, yes the original was a so-so movie but this one stands on its own. It will be a shame if you miss this mystery, suspense, and drama filled ride.
10 Cloverfield Lane is a strong companion-sequel that carries the original film. The strengths to this one is not Cloverfield in the title but the scaled down suspense and drama in a bunker. I really enjoyed this film and the last 10-20 minutes of the film were used well to really connect it with the JJ Abrams title. Will this be continued with a third Cloverfield named movie? The settings are different, the story is new, and the connections are loose but tie-in the movies in one universe. This is not a copy and paste sequel but you can tell certain things were added onto the film.
This new installment to a series we’d never think we’d see again gets a solid 8.5 out of 10. Don’t let the trailer fool you.