10 CLOVERFIELD LANE (REVIEW)
Dir. Dan Trachtenberg
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
In 2008 producer J.J. Abrams gave the world a secret gift. CLOVERFIELD was a film with no prior notice, no known subject and surrounded by intrigue, what was this mysterious found footage film from writer Drew Goddard (THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, WORLD WAR Z, DAREDEVIL) and relatively unknown director Matt Reeves (LET ME IN, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) it shocked the world by unleashing a beast that not only had its cast in suspense, but the audience too in an effective end of the world shocker at the hands of a Godzilla like creature.
The now classic feature is one that many have searched for a sequel and to no answer, that is until early 2016 when, in the words of Randy Orton, straight out of nowhere comes 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE. A sequel? A prequel? A spiritual kin? Well, first things first, like it’s predecessor, not all is at it seems.
After a high speed collision Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes up trapped in an underground bunker as her captive (John Goodman) explains she’s tied up for her own safety as the world outside has been hit by a nuclear strike. Sharing the basement and coerced by Howard’s story is Emmett (John Gallagher) and the continued bond between the threesome becomes a chess play for the truth. Is Howard telling the truth? Is Michelle safer indoors? Will she survive to find out? Well, there are no spoilers but the title gives away a little too much.
That doesn’t take away from what is ultimately a psychological thriller and Michelle’s search for the truth will keep you on the edge of your seat. 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE is pure tension and John Goodman is brilliant as he weaves in and out of his Jekyll and Hyde character. Naivety and psychosis are his only two volumes and there are more than enough moments where he really pushes the boundaries yet instantly makes the audience question his actions in the following seconds.
Horror survivor Elizabeth Winstead has had her fair share of the genre with THE THING, FINAL DESTINATION and FAULTS and fights for survival in typical fashion here. There is no denying that she is one of the most underrated actresses of the horror world and love it or loathe it but her role in THE THING was a welcome addition and her calculating charm in FAULTS was genuinely terrifying to watch and she certainly doesn’t disappoint here, but whether it’s monsters, death itself or cults, she may have met her match against the unbalanced John Goodman, Fred Flintstone he ain’t.
10 CLOVERFIELD LANE is best seen as it is, a psychological thriller that is a part of the Cloverfield shared universe doing well to deliver a great character building exercise for the inevitable CLOVERFIELD 2. (ed - which we never got but as we now know, CLOVERFIELD became an anthology series that finished (for now) with sci-fi disaster THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX)