Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winsted, John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr
Plot: A young woman wakes up from a automobile accident, injured and seemingly inprisoned in an underground bunker with a fellow captive and their increasingly volatile captor.
NOTICE* I try to keep my reviews as spoiler-free as possible but their may be some references to plot points that may be considered mild spoilers, reader discretion is advised.
I saw this film first earlier this year on its cinema release and was suitably impressed. Billed as a sequel/spiritual companion piece to the 2008 JJ Abrams produced Cloverfield. This, unlike the found footage approach used in that film, is a rather standard suspense flick setup with a minimal cast and a very simple premise, You are involved in an accident, unaware where you are and are told the world as you know it has effectively ended by a volatile captor, what do you do?
The cast make this movie, with a minimalist approach to location a strong story is needed and an stronger cast to carry it. Mary Elizabeth Winsted capably carries the resourceful captive role as does John Gallagher Jr, ably conveying smart-assed comic relief without becoming irritating. The real run away performance comes from John Goodman, he is freaking terrifying in this film! Going from quiet paranoia to outright crazy on a dime, his stature only adding to his menace toward his comparatively slight co-stars.
10 Cloverfield Lane also shows us that the ideal of a decent sequel isn’t completely lost to the world. This isn’t some cynical cash-in, It may have very tenuous links to the original Cloverfield, not really touched upon until the 3rd act of the film and even then arguable whether there is a real connection (I think there is), but at its heart has a tight, tense story that is never dull, keeping suspense and tension building nicely along with a sense of mystery that keeps you hooked. Just when you feel you have the jist of what is really going on, the film then throws you for a loop in the thrilling 3rd act where the film’s tone changes in unexpected yet brilliant ways.
If you saw Cloverfield or not is neither really here nor there, it isn’t required to watch or enjoy this film, although you may feel some added enjoyment in the shared DNA between the 2 films if you have seen it. 10 Cloverfield Lane is however remarkably effective in its own right at grabbing your attention and not letting go until the credits roll.
10 Cloverfield Lane is available on DVD & Bluray now.