REVIEW: “10 CLOVERFIELD LANE” (2016) Paramount Pictures

Not a big surprise that a sequel seemed like a logical choice to 2008’s “Cloverfield” by JJ Abrams as it was a big hit comparatively with a 25 million budget, while grossing right around 170 million. The ‘found footage’ film about a group of young people surviving a monster attack in Manhattan was driven by a highly sophisticated and fun marketing campaign. Mysterious trailers of the film ‘Untitled’ left you guessing as to what was the content, was also really well received by critics & film-goers alike.
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While not quite the exact same thing here, JJ Abrams sees ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ as a kinsman of “Cloverfield.” And that’s a good description because although there could be a comparison of a few elements, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a very different kind of film and can stand on it’s own. Do not expect found footage film or a direct sequel or prequel. ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ is a pure psychological thriller, with a little taste of Sci-Fi thrown in for good measure.

It’s mainly undertaken all in one place, the bunker of the mysterious Howard (John Goodman). The bunker is a typical doomsday place: an underground space filled with food, drinks and all the comforts of home, including a cozy living room and fully functional kitchen, ya know, for those underground bunker dinner parties. Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is excellent as the frightened but brave one, who basically MacGyver’s her way through this film. Even John Gallagher Jr. as the simple Emmett is well cast. The biggest surprise is John Goodman as Howard, a role that is seemly tailor-made for him, as he turns the effortlessly friendly man into a creepy psycho without ever giving away which of the two he is and in turn, giving us a whole other level of fear. cloverfield 2

’10 Cloverfield Lane’ will truly have the most impact if you have minimal knowledge of it before hand because it’s nail biting exciting. And any reviewer that gives away the spoilers or the full story of this one, I wish them years of paper cuts because this is one to be experienced, not told about. The only minus is the last act of the film, here and there, it flies off the rails, But you forgive debut director Dan Trachtenberg for this little whim, as I loved the fact that just when you think it won’t go there.. it does! It’s very clever and with fresh inspiration, gives just the right subtle nod to its successful predecessor. For those who love psychological mind-bending films like this, you won’t be disappointed.

Grade: B

Review Screening: Wednesday, March 9, 2016 ~ Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Nationwide Release: Friday, March 11, 2016

15 thoughts on “REVIEW: “10 CLOVERFIELD LANE” (2016) Paramount Pictures”

  1. John Goodman is such a good actor so I’d go see just for his performance. I am intrigued as to how this film is connected to the original. I can guess and that’s fine. Well, I have to add this to my list of movies with a good scare.

      1. I will need to make time for it. I’ve already let a few slip away for now. Still want to see The Witch. And I still want to make time for Krampus.

      2. Oh..hon.. skip The me on this one.. It was the worst film of 2016 so far..until I saw Knight of they are tied. Grade: F for both of them.. This is a bazillion times better. Didn’t see Krampus.. but no no no no no on The your money. 😀

  2. I thought the first Cloverfield was okay, I hope this one is not bad, but then again, I am not holding my breath. I do agree though that John Goodman is a great actor and I reallly love Always (Dir: Steven Spielberg), Barton Fink (Dir: Joel Coen), Matinee (Dir: Joe Dante) and The Big Lebowski (Dir: Joel Coen). I also love O, Brother Where Art Thou?, but I thought George Clooney was the standout there. A month ago or two, I noticed you reviewed that Zombie Pride and Prejudice film. On my site, I just posted a list of my favorite George A. Romero films (he directed Night of the Living Dead) 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    1. oh..ok..well for me this was a really good, fun, film that scared the bejesus out of me. And I held my breath more than once during it. 🙂 yeah..Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is not even remotely likened to Night of the Living Dead or any other Romero film (yes, I know who he is & have seen some of his films) as they are all quite dark.. PPZ was a fun, entertaining, light-hearted spin of the classic film.

      1. I knew that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is not related to anything Romero has done, I only mentioned it cause I had a blog post about Romero and the zombie popped into my head 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

  3. Agree with most of what you said. I went in totally blind and I loved it…. though i did have an issue with the ending, But other than that I loved it, Goodman was so good!

  4. Agreed, if you go in knowing nothing, you’ll most likely love it. Goodman was fantastic and I’ve already seen some people rallying behind his name for Oscars next year (ha, didn’t awards season just end?!). We really, really liked this movie. I didn’t have an issue with the ending at all. I love how all everything being talked about throughout the movie eventually had a conclusion, and that’s all I’ll say and I hope it’s not too indicative. I love how JJ Abrams has said he wants this to be an anthology series, which is what we would have loved to see the Halloween franchise become, but failed to accomplish. That would be so cool!

  5. I thought this movie was uneven – definitely too much of a tonal shift outside the bunker. Could have done without the last quarter.

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