10 Cloverfield Lane – Spoiler-Free Review

I had been excited about 10 Cloverfield Lane ever since I heard saw the teaser trailer which was also the first time I heard that a new project was in the works. So much mystery has surrounded the film which of course adds to the intrigue. Having written a post on the trailer before, I figured I’d give you all a spoiler-free review too. So, enjoy!

After getting in a car accident, Michelle (Brie Larson Mary Elizabeth Winstead) finds herself in an underground bunker with a young bearded man named Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) and Howard (John Goodman), the owner of the bunker who claims that the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack. As a result, the air is not breathable and they have to live in the bunker until it is safe to return to the outside world.

The common misconception is that 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) is a sequel to Cloverfield (2008). But it actually isn’t. It takes place in the same universe and according producer J.J. Abrams, it is a “blood-relative” to the original Cloverfield (2008), despite the fact that it does not include the same characters, take place in the same setting, and it is not shot in the POV style that Cloverfield embraced.

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In fact, they’re two very different films in the sense that the original had a bunch of relatively unknown actors running frantically around New York, whereas 10 Cloverfield Lane has a small group of well-known actors live in an isolated space. I’ve always been a fan of “bottle” stories, because that’s where true acting talent shines through.

The standout performer is John Goodman, who portrays a troubled and complex character, with a no-nonsense attitude about staying alive and making the most of the situation. Brie Larson Mary Elizabeth Winstead does a great job as a resourceful young woman who wants to re-join the outside world, not content with being stuck in this place with people she does not know or trust. The chemistry between the three main characters keeps your attention, especially when they’re doing mundane things to pass the time.

This is director Dan Trachtenberg’s feature film directorial debut and does a solid job in his first outing, capturing the tension quite perfectly. And with a group of accomplished actors in a franchise that has a cult following and the backing of a respected producer, he had to make it his own, and he did. The film’s gimmick (a bottle film) might not be as exciting or as well done as its predecessor’s found footage style, but it does give an interesting outlook on the Cloverfield franchise.

For those looking for a good mystery movie with lots of tension and good acting, this is the one for you.

Rating: 7.5/10

Interesting Trivia: Bradley Cooper plays the voice of Michelle’s boyfriend over a cellphone. Seriously, is there any job he won’t turn down?

Dean Ravell

Aspiring writer/director. Fascinated with all kinds of film and just wants to be part of the wonderful world of cinema. #AlmostFamous

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