10 Cloverfield Lane is written by Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken and Damien Chazelle, directed by Dan Trachtenberg and stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr as three people who are stuck living in a bunker after a supposed nuclear fallout has left the outside world unsafe. Now, when the first trailer dropped everyone lost their minds purely because it was a spinoff of a blockbuster movie and no one knew about it. But as someone who wasn't really a huge fan of Cloverfield, I was more excited for this movie because of the fact that it looked so good. The trailer was tense and unnerving, but was the movie? Well, I'm very glad to say that the tension seen in the trailer is definitely there in the film, but even more so, as it should be. Heres my take on 10 Cloverfield Lane.
So this movie opens with a very impactful sequence. There is no dialogue, we simply just see Mary Elizabeth Winstead's character making a journey. The objective of which I will not spoil in this review. As this film went on, and for a long time after I left the cinema aswell, I kept having this thought. The thought is that the majority of this film very much feels like a modern version of Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece, Psycho. It has got some fairly similar elements, which is by no way an insult to the movie. The fact that it manages to effectively feel Hitchcockian is definitely a point in the movie's favour as I was gripped at every tense moment that this film had to offer, and trust me, there were alot of them.
Let's talk characters, because for me, characters make or break a film. Now, John Goodman's character here is portrayed absolutely astonishingly. The way the writers and the director, Dan Trachtenberg, plays with your perception of this character is fascinating, and the sort of thing that truly excites me about film. You can go from thinking the character is bat shit crazy to feeling sympathy for him. And as far as movie villains go, I think this character is one of the better and more fleshed out ones of recent years. The performance that comes with it though, wow. This, for me, is one of John Goodman's best performances ever, and that's saying something, considering the man has been in so many movies. However, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a great leading lady, and a cool figure to represent interesting and badass women in film. And John Gallagher Jr provides some great comic relief at times, whilst also not getting entirely bogged down in that being his only function. He is actually used as a great storytelling device in some moments and a character that you can really relate to and sympathise with.
It's also a phenomenally well written film, with several twists and turns keeping you on edge and adding a feel of unpredictability that left me wanting more and more. However there is one twist, and it's a big one, where I wasn't really sure if it worked. If I'm being honest, I don't think this film needed to be a Cloverfield spinoff. In fact, if it was just a normal tension thriller, i probably would have loved it even more than I did. Not that I didn't love it, I thought it was a pretty great film, there is just a huge tonal shift at the end that didn't bother me that much, but didn't necessarily fit with the rest of the film either. However, the tension was dropped in this change and I was still on the edge of my seat until the end of the film.
Overall, 10 Cloverfield Lane combines a fantastic script with equally fantastic performances and slightly surrealistic direction to give us something new in cinema - the unique blockbuster. It may have a slightly ridiculous plot twist at the end, but it is still 2 hours of cinema that was extremely enjoyable and I'm sure I'll be watching a couple more times in the near future.
So what did you think of 10 Cloverfield Lane? Have you seen it? Did you enjoy it? Make sure to let me know in the comments and if you enjoyed this review come back for more like it in the future or go to http://moviepilot.com/garwoodreviews for for previous reviews, including one for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.