THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS ABOUT THE PLOT OF 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE. THIS IS FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE SEEN THIS MOVIE OR HAVE NO INTEREST IN SEEING THIS MOVIE.
When I walked into 10 Cloverfield Lane, I had no idea what to expect. The trailers gave away little, the marketing campaign was genius, and all of the unknown made the experience of the film that much better. That is why I was so careful in giving away even the smallest of plot details in the previous review, but this review will go into the main events that occur in 10 Cloverfield Lane, and my opinions on them.
The movie starts off with an instrumental over an intro to Mary Elizabeth Winstead‘s character, Michelle. We don’t hear her speak throughout this whole opening, just her boyfriend on the phone telling her to turn around. This voice is not just any voice, but the voice of Bradley Cooper, which I think is awesome. The reason I point out this intro is because it leads to Michelle’s car crash, with one of the more creative opening credit scenes I have ever witnessed.
From there, it’s the John Goodman show for the large majority of this film, as every scene inside the bunker gives his character more and more of a feel of uneasiness. I was never sure how to feel about his character, with him seeing sympathetic at some moments, a little weird at others, and completely crazy in others. The reveals about his past with his daughter and wife give his character even more questionable feelings, just all leading up to the thrilling conclusion of his character. I like the moments between Winstead and John Gallagher Jr. as well, but there is just something about Goodman’s performance that allows him to steal the show.
What I loved the most about this film, besides maybe the thrilling final sequence, is the incredible amount of tension created while in the bunker. Nothing feels right as the three characters become more developed. Michelle is, of course, a non-believer of this claim that nuclear warfare may have taken place, and so are we, and that makes her discoveries just as satisfying to us as they are to her. Director Dan Trachtenberg creates this feeling of tension by giving the audience clues and hints of bigger ideas that sometimes turn out to be true and sometimes are complete misdirections. This causes us to not trust anything that these characters, especially Goodman’s character, have to say.
This is not a horror movie, but there are some definite moments of terror. Whether it is the opening credits, the first escape attempt by Michelle, and of course, the finale, this film does a great job at mixing drama and horror to create an overall excellent thriller.
There aren’t many tie-ins to Cloverfield in this movie, so I wouldn’t say that you need to see that film before seeing this one. However, whether or not you have seen Cloverfield may change your opinion on the final 15 minutes, but for me, I loved it. The finale had my heart racing and had me on the edge of my seat, and I couldn’t have asked for a better, more thrilling conclusion. The movie jumps from dramatic thriller to sci-fi horror instantaneously and doesn’t miss a beat while doing it.
I don’t have any major problems with this movie, just a few concerning how the plot moves forward. I felt that Michelle sometimes found key pieces to the story too easily and too conveniently, and I also felt that she survived the ending a bit too easily. Going with the idea of convenient: a sign that happens to have the two cities that are mentioned on a radio signal she happened to come across? That’s as convenient as it gets, but it allows the movie to end on a cliffhanger, which means a potential sequel that I would love to see.
Overall, 10 Cloverfield Lane masters the suspense and has a very compelling storyline and terrific acting from its three leads. The movie is a beautiful mix of drama and horror and is one that I recommend watching more than once.