Director: Dan Trachtenberg. Producer: J. J. Abrams.Starring: John Goodman, Mary Elisabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr. USA, 2016. IMDb: 7.2. My rating: 4/4. Exemplary sci-fi thriller.
– It’s the end of the world and he’s upset about a dead pig.
(one of the main characters)
“10 Cloverfield Lane” will beat you up, drag down the stairs and then suddenly act like an old friend who will tell you some good jokes and offer a few beers. Just to beat you up to death again 10 minutes later. And with all due respect to Dwayne Johnson, it’s John Goodman who should be called The Rock. Damn. It’s such a relief to finally see a great thriller, one of the most abused genres probably. And a good sci-fi thriller is even a more rare specimen.
The film feels way more powerful and will scare the hell out of you more than any of its big scale rivals, even though it’s mostly set in an apartment with just three characters. No cheap tricks or limb amputation. The thrill feels more like a Hitchcockian kind of suspense. You don’t know what’s happenning – just some clues, most of which will be wrong. You have no idea where the story will turn now – the amount of jaw dropping plot turns is incredible. Mary Elisabeth Winstead (still a very underrated actress) deserves very high appraisal too.
Here is the premise. After a sudden car crash, Michelle (Mary Elisabeth Winstead) wakes up in a basement. Last thing she remembers was having an argument on the phone with her boyfriend while driving somewhere. Michelle is chained to a wall. An old man opens her door, insisting that he saved her, because. Enough. Stop.
The less you know about “10 Cloverfield Lane”, the better. Watching the trailer would remove half of the pleasure. The movie came out from nowhere – everything was kept strongly in secret till 2 months before the release, because… J. J. Abrams, a man with one hundred personalities, conceived it as a ”spiritual” sequel to another movie. Guess what, it was made in 2008, also produced by J.J. Abrams
and also had the word ”Cloverfield” in its name. But that was a found footage film that felt slightly different ant somehow bigger. As many noted, it could be an interesting approach to sequel making. Saying anything more than this would be a spoiler. So… once again – the less you know about “10 Cloverfield Lane”, the better.
The story was originated as a completely different movie called ”The Cellar”, low budget thriller, but then Paramount stepped in and bought the script. It’s also worth noting here that “Metal Hurlant Chronicles” TV series also had a similar episode. So, Paramount later involved Damien Chazelle (yes, the guy who made brilliant ”Whiplash” and another… famous movie that probably everybody have heard of in 2016), who modified the script and was supposed to direct as well, but then dropped out when ”Whiplash” received funding. We are lucky, guys – now we have both ”Whiplash” and ”10 Cloverfield Lane”!
Worth viewing? Hell yes! If you don’t want to miss one of the most thrilling and original films of last years. Tense, smart and well-crafted with brilliantly horrifying Goodman and surprising Winstead. The script will keep you nervous all the time like a Russian roulette, but it’s the performance of the cast that makes “10 Cloverfield Lane” much more than a one trick pony. Exemplary science fiction thriller. And often unexpectedly funny. But don’t watch the trailer. I warmed you.