’10 Cloverfield Lane’: The Year’s Most Strange & Secretive Movie

“Crazy Is Building Your Arc After The Flood” – Howard Stambler

This review will contain some minor plot points. I advice you to see this movie before reading ANYTHING about it. It’s worth it but I do want to talk about some interesting facts. This will be lightly spoilerish.

The mystery surrounding ‘10 Cloverfield Lane‘ was unlike anything I’ve seen as of late. In the time where every film is announced years in advance and we get constant updates, the semi-sequel to 2008’s ‘Cloverfield managed to surprise everyone by being announced out of the blue. Since the announcement, the team for ‘10 Cloverfield Lane‘ went into over-drive with their viral marketing schemes; similar to what they did with the original. And that’s where the similarities to ‘Cloverfield‘ end…

There is something so bizarre about ‘10 Cloverfield Lane‘ right from the very start. With striking cinematography & minimal budget, the film felt like an art-house film. The introduction of the film starts off a wonderfully loud orchestra score and barely any dialogue expect for surprise cameo voice pestering our lead female Michelle, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, as she is seemingly storming out of town.

Then suddenly…a car slams into Michelle’s.

Now we enter one of the most suspenseful & tense segments I have seen in a very long time. We know the film is set in a bunker and that bunker is where Michelle awakens after the car accident. John Goodman plays Howard, Michelle’s captor in this bunker. He says it’s for her safety as the world above them is a toxic wasteland. She smartly doubts him. There is also another person in the underground bunker, a farmer boy named Emmett who desperately wanted to be in there.

10 Cloverfield Lane

As an unknown amount of time passes, life in this doomsday shelter gets more & more hostile. Goodman as Howard is one of his most unnerving performances ever. He constantly makes living in that place miserable. As the mystery of Howard, why Michelle is here, and his much-talked about daughter Megan starts to unfold; so does the mystery of how this connects with ‘Cloverfield‘.

Without giving much away, the best way I can describe this movie is like Cloverfield’s very distant cousin. Hardcore fans know ‘10 Cloverfield Lane‘ exist in the same world as the original film. Examples being things like Slusho, a drink in which one of the main characters in the first film was going to work for, displayed at a gas station at the beginning of the movie or a Japanese company’s name appearing in the social media marketing for both films. There is a few more things but you have to dig deep to figure it out.

Those are things only die-hard fans would enjoy but for a casual fan, the movie will stand alone very well.

It’s a strange & suspenseful horror surprise. Some of the moments of the film are so unexpected. One of the most unexpected things are the actual comedic moments between the tension. Just when the drama boils over, there is a light moment to undercut the situation; this is used as a distraction from an even more dramatic moment. For this being the feature film debut of Dan Trachtenberg, the guy shows such great mastery of how to handle all of what makes the movie enjoyable.

10 Cloverfield Lane
Everyone wants to know if there is a monster or will there be any creature connections to the first film. I will not give a definitive answer as what happens truly needs to be seen to be believed.

Nothing is as it seems on ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’!

EJ Moreno
EJ Morenohttp://Vimeo.com/EJMoreno
Who is EJ Moreno? Is he a trained physician? No. Is he a former Miss Universe contestant? Possibly. With a bachelors degree in film and a love of pop culture, he brings an alternative view to the world of pop culture journalism. Follow him on Twitter @EJKhryst and check out his film work at Vimeo.com/ejmoreno