10 Cloverfield Lane – Tense

I don’t think anybody expected to see a follow up to 2008’s Cloverfield and in fairness, despite the name connection there’s little else to draw on. But that’s not a bad thing. Cloverfield put Matt Reeves fairly and squarely on the map, demonstrating his directing chops and inducing all kinds of motion-sickness in the process. Of course, Mr Reeves has gone on to cement his reputation with the outstanding Let Me In and the franchise-busting Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, with Cloverfield being a slightly smaller footnote to his burgeoning career.

10 Cloverfield Lane surfaced with barely a whisper just a few weeks before release and is poles apart from its progenitor. There have been indications from its producer – none other than J J Abrams, who was also a producer for Cloverfield – that further instalments may come our way, so an overarching narrative pulling all the strands together could clear the muddied waters “connecting” these two films.

It’s always a pleasure to see John Goodman on screen and 10 Cloverfield Lane provides the rare opportunity for Mr Goodman to take a leading role. While his stature may allow him to physically dominate any film – even with smaller roles (see The Gambler) – this extended screen time allows us to bask in his obvious talents. His character, Howard, is an interesting creation, struggling to cope with the interlopers within his sanctum, a person with inner turmoil who must exhibit restraint to survive.

Said “interlopers” are Michelle, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) and Emmet, played by John Gallagher Jr. (The Newsroom). Michelle provides the audience with a focal point, asking the type of questions we hope we would, while Emmet is just thankful to have been “rescued”. This three-hander, played out in a single environment, manages to rack up the tension and stay half a step ahead of the viewer. It’s an intriguing premise played out over 103 minutes and deserves to succeed. I don’t wish to say any more about 10 Cloverfield Lane as it should be seen fresh, without any preconceived notions or knowledge of plot points. Suffice to say, Dan Trachtenberg has created a very nice piece of cinema on his directorial debut – it’s well worth your while taking a trip to the flix to see it.

Thank you for reading 🙂


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