10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) Is A Claustrophobic Thriller In the Cloverfield World – Movie Review

The more I spoke about this movie being out in theaters I quickly learned how much fans enjoyed the original Cloverfield film. One of the few quality found footage films we’ve seen in the last decade and a half, Cloverfield was a monster movie that left us wondering if there would ever be a sequel or prequel to such a film, but the closest thing they could give us was a movie no one knew was even being made only to throw Cloverfield in the title, but man was this a thrilling movie.

To be fair, I’m not so sure I should be giving you details on this film at all. In order for you to have a quality film going experience seeing this movie, I will have to be even more vague than I normally am so bear with me. Mary Elisabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs the World) gets toppled over in her car after an accident on the road only to awake in a bomb shelter cuffed in a cement room. Within seconds do you feel yourself starting to hold your breath and tense up your muscles because this film is claustrophobic and unnerving thanks to the limited settings and a great John Goodman performance.

With unknown issues in and out of the bunker, Michelle (Winstead) can only look on in contemplation for a way to escape this safely created prison. I give the film makers and writers loads of credit for going the direction they did with her character. Too often we see victims in films be portrayed as too fearful to think straight or logically, but Michelle as a character was a naturally flowing, impressive character brought to screen. Winstead doesn’t need to be a damsel when she is in distress and that adds to her fear of the situations at hand when she does show levels of fear. Her on screen chemistry with her co-stars is impressive and sometimes darkly funny, you know, in an Ex Machina sort of way where the humor comes when least expected and you will know that there’s no point in giggling for long.

One element of the film that has been discussed and question is the shift in genres (which I will NOT spoil) and how it all plays out by the end of the film. I am still trying to wrap my head around what the point of that certain thing was, but after reading interviews on the inspirations behind the metaphors within the film, the ending does end up making sense, but I’m not sure it was the right decision either. With that said, I was captivated by the sheer terror and thriller aspects of the cellar in which the film takes place and the psychology that you have pick up in between. Nonetheless, the film was a thrill ride with an indie sensibility, but sprinkled with some Hollywood flare by the third act. Is it a sequel to Cloverfield? It is not, but it doesn’t have to be, and what you get instead is a film by a promising film maker and great performances by the three leads.

SCORE: B+

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