Starring: John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr.
Director: Dan Trachtenberg
Running Time: 106 mins
10 Cloverfield Lane is an American film and the second in the Cloverfield series. After suffering a horrific car crash, a young woman wakes up in an underground bunker with two men, who tell her that she has been saved from an apocalyptic attack above ground.
Well, I don’t think I’ve come out of a film with a face as white as a sheet for a long time, but 10 Cloverfield Lane really did exactly that. An exceptionally well-directed film that’s full of mystery, twists and chilling suspense, this film is incredibly enthralling at almost every moment.
And that’s even more impressive when you take into account that this whole film basically takes place on one set. There’s a little set-up outside the bunker for the first five minutes or so (five minutes that instantly prove what an amazing film this is going to be), but apart from that, 10 Cloverfield Lane is one of the most claustrophobic and intense thrillers in years.
I thought Dan Trachtenberg’s directing here was fantastic. He manages to keep the rather slow-paced story that unfolds in this confined space brilliantly fascinating, and as the film gradually reveals small morsels of information about what’s really going on, he increases the tension fantastically, keeping you right on the edge of your seat until the bitter end.
What’s more is that the performances were stunning. Only three actors appear in this film throughout, but they’re all amazing. In the lead role, Mary Elizabeth Winstead gives what is easily her best performance ever, full of deep fear, dread and confusion, whilst John Gallagher Jr. impresses in the smallest role. However, it’s John Goodman that really stands out. He’s brilliant as the man who runs the ship below ground in the bunker. Unpredictable at every moment, sometimes appearing comforting and honest, and sometimes being genuinely terrifying, but what’s most impressive is that he’s always thrilling to watch.
The plot is the most interesting part of this film to talk about and discuss afterwards. The film, unlike its predecessor, the big monster movie Cloverfield, is a calm, collected psychological thriller. It’s all about the desperation to discover whether this woman has really been rescued from a devastating attack, or if there’s something more sinister going on. Believe me, there’s no way to tell which way it’s leaning in this film, but that’s testament to how well-written, directed and acted it is, and by the end, you’ll be biting your nails, hanging off the edge of your seat, hiding behind the sofa and all that as the film snowballs to an astonishing (albeit undoubtedly controversial) conclusion.
I won’t say anything about the ending, apart from the fact that I loved it. I can see some people being confused about how this film finishes, but I was blown away by both the plot direction and the sudden shift in tone, and that was what really stunned me to the point where I felt so scared.
Overall, I loved 10 Cloverfield Lane. It’s not your average thriller, but something deeply more intelligent and dark. It’s an exceptionally thrilling watch, and with three brilliant performances, a stunningly unpredictable plot and amazing directing, I’m giving this an 8.7.