Despite being loosely labelled a sequel to the successful 2008 Cloverfield which was shot in found footage format and portrayed an alien invasion, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a very different experience. It is not immediately apparent that it has any connection to the previous movie, except that the title also contains the word Cloverfield. This film has only three characters who are living in a bunker due to an unexplained apocalyptic type event having taken place. Instead of the tension being created by the attack unfolding before your eyes, the tense atmosphere here is created by the confined setting and the uncertainty of what might be waiting outside.
Waking up following a serious car crash, Michelle ( Mary Elizabeth Winstead) finds herself chained to a wall in the home of a sinister seeming Howard (John Goodman). He soon unchains her and explains to her that there was an attack on the outside world. Rather than kidnapping her as she believes, he explains he has saved her life by bringing her to his bunker. His story is confirmed by fellow resident Emmett (John Gallagher Jr) who tells her he fought his way into the bunker when the attack happened.
After some initial disbelief, events occur that seem to confirm Howard’s claims and the three characters begin to bond and accept they may be together for the foreseeable future. The strained peace does not last long though as a chance discovery makes Michelle realise Howard may be more menacing than anything awaiting her outside.
It’s a psychological thriller in a claustrophobic setting that confines the viewer to the same restrictions as the characters. We are told the same information as them about the outside world and have to come to our own conclusions about what/if anything has happened. The shortness of the film means the confined setting never gets too dull and it picks up pace just when it should. The tension of the sinister situation keeps you on the edge of your seat as you await the big reveal.
Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr
Dir: Dan Trachtenberg
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