RVW: 10 Cloverfield Lane

Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

By: Dave Clark

Way back in 2008 a movie came out with very little mass media marketing but with this little subtle viral style of marketing. Cloverfield was meant to be a monster movie designed for America and it became something so much more. It was a universe in and of itself almost immediately. Then a few weeks ago we got this surprising and mysterious little trailer for a movie called 10 Cloverfield Lane and then the Cloverfield hysteria was awakened within me. I was exceedingly excited to see this movie and find out exactly how it was tied to Cloverfield if at all.

The basic, spoiler free plot of the story is this....Michelle is leaving her relationship for some reason and while she's driving away she gets into a pretty monstrous car accident. She wakes up in a bunker, cuffed at her ankle to a thin mattress on the concrete floor of some kind of locked room. Her clothes have been removed and she's essentially wearing her underwear and a tank top. She immediately believes she's been abducted and why shouldn't she? Over time we discover that there has been an attack (according to John Goodman's character Howard) and the air outside the bunker is deadly. He claims to have found her after the accident and saved her life by bringing her to the bunker. The other occupant, Emmett, had been hired by Howard to help construct this bunker and sought shelter when the attack happened. Throughout the rest of the story, Michelle is attempting to discover what is truth and what is a lie and we are taken along for the ride.

Right away it's a very different film than Cloverfield because it's not shot by a handheld camera, it's done like a standard film and that was probably refreshing for those with vertigo. The look and feel cinematically were beautiful. We spend all our time within this bunker so there's no need to get too crazy with the set and with locations, but we really got to know this bunker as Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) discovers it herself as well. The music and the acting really conveyed all the tension that was building throughout the movie. Like Michelle, we have no idea what's real and what's a lie being manufactured by uber-survivalist Howard Stambler who clearly has a lot of secrets and a very dark past.

When people ask me how the movie was, I have a hard time explaining it to anyone. People ask what the movie's about and I can't really give them a straight answer without spoiling the twists. It's also tough to find people to recommend this movie to because it's such a different film, from start to finish it crosses quite a few genres. I really enjoyed the story and the tension of the unknown. It really unfolds like an old school episode of Twilight Zone or even an Alfred Hitchcock film.

As this film relates to the original Cloverfield film, we all were told that this would be like a distant cousin to the original. We were told that it wasn't necessarily going to be connected to the original film, but that this would be the second entry into a certain style of films. All in all, I was disappointed by the ending of this film, but I still enjoyed the movie. It's hard to dislike when the performances were astoundingly great. I would say to anyone that is a fan of thrillers, go see this movie!