FlixChatter Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

Ted_review10CloverfieldLane

Talk about a “sequel” that no one saw it coming huh? I don’t believe anyone except the filmmakers and studio folks knew that this movie even existed before the trailer was shown a couple of months ago. A sort of “blood relative” to the 2008 found footage Cloverfield, this new movie is more of a Twilight Zone episode and it’s 10 times better than the original “movie” (both are produced by JJ Abrams).

A young woman named Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) decided to leave her boyfriend and while on the road, she got a call from him. But as she was about to answer the phone, she got in a car accident. Hours later she woke up and handcuffed to the wall and had nothing on by her underwear. A mysterious man named Howard (John Goodman) said he rescued her and brought her to his secret underground shelter. He told her that there’s been an attack and many people have died. If she wants to stay alive, she needs to follow his orders. Later she meets another man named Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) who she thought was Howard’s prisoner but Emmett said he fought to get inside the shelter.

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The whole movie is about these three characters interacting with one another and if I can’t really say much without giving away spoilers. The performances by the actors were quite good, especially Goodman. You don’t really know if he’s telling the truth or he’s just crazy. Gallagher provided the humor but deep down he’s a beaten man who has regrets about his life choices. But the movie belongs to Winstead. Unlike many of the female leads in other thrillers, her character is smart and always on guard about her surroundings. She never trusted Howard and when it’s time to take action, she’s the one in charge.

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Directed by Dan Trachtenberg, the movie felt like a very good episode of The Twilight Zone. Trachtenberg was able to create some tight tension moments and keep all of his actors on their toes. Since this is his first feature, I thought he did an impressive job. But like many young filmmakers, he couldn’t resist the use of hand-held shaky cam on some scenes. I don’t know if it’s being taught in film schools regularly or what, but it needs to stop.

Despite the good performances and tight direction, the movie’s finale was sort of a letdown for me. I wouldn’t go into it but I thought the writers should have come up with a better way to show the audience of what really happened to the world. That said, this is a good thriller and you don’t need to see Cloverfield to enjoy this one.

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Have you seen 10 Cloverfield Lane? Well, what did you think?

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12 thoughts on “FlixChatter Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

  1. PrairieGirl

    Hey there Ted! So agree about the shaky camera. I tried watching Dancer in the Dark last weekend and almost got seasick with the nonstop jiggling and zooming in/out that never quit. I turned it off after 10 minutes. And 91% of the audience at Rotten tomatoes liked it? Can’t imagine. Anyway, nice review, always love to see your two-cents worth here at FC 😉 Becky

    1. Hi Becky, yeah I can’t stand the hand held shaky cam style at all! I wish it will go away soon. I remember bits and pieces of Dancer in the Dark and I know I’m not one of those people who enjoyed it.

  2. I agree that this came out of left field! I had no idea it was coming…. and it couldnb’t be more different from the original if it tried. I agree with you on the finale and basically the entire third act, but the tension before that was great.

    1. Hey Jordan, I don’t think any of us knew this movie was coming out before the trailer was launched. I wish they left the ending or revelation more ambiguous, to show what really happened sort of ruined it for me. I mean they brought up a few mystery things about Goodman’s character, I won’t mention them here, but somehow it was never mention again.

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