Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack.

I never saw the first Cloverfield movie and it sits within my pile of DVDs I still have to watch. So as I write this I can not compare it to the initial movie that it spins off from.

Opening with a woman (Winstead) making her escape from her partner, her car is run off the road and this forms part of the opening credits. You really feel the impact and this is where the clever use of sound that runs through this movie starts from. As she awakes she finds herself locked in a concrete cell and chained to the wall. This we discover is the survival bunker built by Howard (Goodman) who had been predicting the worst and now it seems to have happened. Also within the bunker is Emmett who had been hired by Howard to help construct the bunker. This forms the main part of the film as the two survivors rescued by Howard turn on him as his predicted apocalypse may solely be within the confines of his mind and they both try and plan an escape.

The last part of the movie shows what happens when Michelle escapes to really discover what is on the outside and that it may not be apocalyptic but could be something much worse. As she makes her escape she finally meets what it is on the outside that Howard has been protecting them from.

This is a very good movie and I liked the dynamics between Howard and the two survivors as they question what his motives really are. For me thus was the best part of the film and the role played by Goodman is immense and he is probably the best part of this film. The final part of the film is where the action really kicks off but it is only a small part of the actual running time and it does feel quite limited especially the screen time given to the alien.

I am torn how I feel about this film. Its lead characters are great and there is a terrifying use of sound that really makes you think what the fuck was that, cleverly done by raising the volume where needed. I did like the movie but it just feels unbalanced and I would have liked less talking and more action but that’s probably about all I can find wrong with it. For a movie given a 12A there are some scary and gory scenes including a gun shot to the head and the use of acid to dispose of a body.

I still enjoyed it and it does work, just take some out the middle and add more to the end part and I would have liked it more.

Right, before we start, let’s get something clear, this is definitely NOT a sequel to Cloverfield. Kind of. Don’t go into this expecting a significant connection because you aren’t going to get it.
Fleeing from her boyfriend, Winstead’s character Michelle crashes her car, and awakes to find herself chained to a pipe in a strangers bunker. Initially assuming the worst, Michelle learns that she has been taken there for her own safety after conspiracy theorist Howard, played by the ever awesome John Goodman, informs her that there has been attack above ground. Questioning his story Michelle, along with fellow bunker buddy Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), dig deeper to find out what’s really going on.
All the way through you’re questioning what is happening and who is telling the truth. The story never feels like it’s forced or rushed and, despite some maybe exaggerated skill sets, always seems believable. This is paranoia cinema at its best, with all three leads on top form. Goodman walks the fine line between dangerous and vulnerable so perfectly, it’s hard to tell whether he’s as trustworthy as you hope he will be, and Winstead is incredible as the innovative heroine. Seriously, that girl got mad DIY skills! In very much the same style as Right At Your Door and BUG, it messes with your head just as much as theirs, and I dig that. The Twilight Zone comparisons are very much deserved. There are some epically gruesome scenes, which add some edge to the story, and some gut punching twists and turns. I have been told that some folk had issue with the ending. Whilst I can see why that is, I don’t think it takes anything away from what came before it, because for me it could be a totally separate film.
I fear that 10 Cloverfield Lane will live in the shadow of Cloverfield, but it shouldn’t. It would benefit hugely from having no association with Cloverfield, but it is still a great film and should definitely be seen.

10 Cloverfield Lane is at UK Cinemas from the 18th March 




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