film review

Review | 10 Cloverfield Lane – 2016

Michelle freaks out when she wakes up in a small room, chained to the wall, after she got into a car crash. The owner of this curious place, is the even more curious man called Howard. He says he saved her from something mysterious, which is also sayed by the other person who ‘lives’ at Howard’s place. However, Michelle is determined to see daylight again and find out what is truly happening. 

10 Cloverfield Lane is said to be the sequel to the horror film Cloverfield from 2008, and producer J.J Abrams is once more involved in this project. The film’s release came as a surprise for many of us. Only a month before the film hit theatres, J.J. Abrams announced the film and released a trailer. This is a very interesting way to promote your film these days. Most films get promoted a few months before its release with lots of pictures and clips, which makes the stories less surprising for the audience. Therefore 10 Cloverfield Lane definitely scores some points, because of the mystery!

John Goodman as Howard; Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Michelle; and John Gallagher Jr. as Kyle in 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE; by Paramount

In the lead roles we see Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Michelle, the young woman who ends up in a car crash after she got into a fight with her boyfriend. She has a strong personality and doesn’t take no for an answer, she wants to find out things by herself. John Goodman often plays funny characters, but this time his character Howard is an unpredictable man who makes up conspiracy theories and prepares for it accordingly. Michelle doesn’t trust him and is determined to find out the truth. The third person is Emmett, played by John Gallagher Jr. At first sight, Emmett seems to be a laid back person, but once Michelle convinces him Howard is a person to look out for, Emmett changes his mind as well.

10 Cloverfield Lane may have the same title as the 2008 film Cloverfield, but the two films are completely different. In contrast to Cloverfield, this version is not a found footage. The film is said to be a horror film, but it fits more in the drama and mystery genre. The mystery of the story is what it brings to a higher level. It’s quite intense despite the lack of special effects. Because of the intensity, you are very focussed to see what will happen. Also John Goodman’s impressive performance as the ex marine Howard with a mysterious past, definitely helps. He’s an unpredictable man who creates moments you did not expect to happen. 

Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Michelle and John Goodman as Howard in 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE; by Paramount Pictures

The biggest part of the film takes place at Howard’s bunker, where also Michelle and Emmett are staying. At first these three try to get along with each other. They play games, have dinner, watch films and have normal conversations. At some point things change and it gets more intense which leads to some exciting scenes. For Michelle there’s a moment when it’s actually a battle between life and death. Winstead as Michelle did a very good job. The interaction between Michelle and John Goodman’s character is very strong and sometimes even intense. The film has an open end for a possible sequel, in which Michelle is going in a certain direction.

The ‘sequel’ to Cloverfield came out eight years later and is called 10 Cloverfield Lane. Fortunately the handy cam is exchanged for a descent camera, which portrays the few locations very clearly. Mary Elizabeth Winstead did a great job as the strong Michelle, but John Goodman as Howard is the star of the film. His character is mysterious and very curious, which gives the film an intense vibe. There’s not much action, but the dialogues and the mystery is what the film makes enthralling. The end leaves the door open for a sequel. When it comes to that, lets hope it’s just as surprising as 10 Cloverfield Lane.

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