At least a sequel in tone if not a direct sequel to Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a taught and brilliantly crafted bottle thriller.
Unlike almost every film in this day and age that have a marketing campaign lasting anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, 10 Cloverfield Lane’s very effective campaign lasted for approximately 2 months. It all started with a surprising release of the trailer. Watch it here:
This has been one of my favourite trailers of the year and it does what all trailers should do. It had me intrigued and really excited for the movie. And what a movie this is!
This is definitely one of the best thrillers to come out in the last decade or so. It has you hooked for start to finish. I especially love it when the director doesn’t spoon feed you all the information about the characters in the story. A special mention to first time director Dan Trachtenberg here; he did a masterful job. For example, we know exactly where Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character is in her life within the first couple of minutes without a single word being spoken aloud.
Speaking of which, the performances by the 3 main characters are fantastic. But the start of the show is John Goodman. He is the reason why your eyes are glued to the screen at all times. The way he talks, the way he walks, the choices his character makes, the way he reacts to certain situation, everything has you hooked. You very rarely get to see an actor commit so wholeheartedly to his character.
The film falters a little when it comes to the situation Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character finds herself in at times. The way she managed to resolve some of her quandaries is a little too convenient. There were a couple of WTF moments without which, this would have been an absolute masterpiece.
I was initially a little disappointed that this isn’t a sequel to Cloverfield. But in hindsight, this is a much better film and I’m glad that it is able to stand on its own. I came across a video on YouTube which seems to suggest there is a possibility they may well be connected eventually. If you are interested, check out the video below:
The fact that there is so much back story to all the characters that we get to check out leading up to the film adds another dimension to our understanding of the character choices and the film as a whole.
Overall, I found this film to be an outstanding film with powerful performances. The less you know about the story going into it, the better your experience will be. The twist(s?) leave your jaw on the floor and keep you wanting for more. There is no real resolution at the end and the film is entirely open to your interpretation about why the characters do what they do; this is a positive in my book.
My Score: 8/10