Building explosion and super duper action power-packed sequel to Cloverfield (2008), this is not.
One of my favourite genres of film are those that take place in confined spaces and/or those that are under incredible time-constraints.
- Similarly to the jurors of 12 Angry Men (1957) that had to deal with their prejudices and preconceived notions in a stuffy room.
- To George & Martha of Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf? (1966) facing their insecurities & fear in the eyes of a youthful couple in the middle of the night.
- To the gang of The Warriors (1979) navigating through the NY Subway System at 3 in the morning, fearing for their lives from wacky, murder-hungry gangs in the streets of New York.
- To a wheelchair-bound man who refuses to mind his own business and has an incredibly beautiful (completely out of his league) girlfriend in Rear Window (1954)…
These types of films have been some of my favourites because of the sense of urgency and complete lack of control characters have throughout them. The original Cloverfield (2008) scared many with their viral marketing and take on found-footage, before it was done ad nauseam and even more nauseam than that. cough paranormal activities cough.
I surprisingly enjoyed 10 Cloverfield Lane even though I wasn’t that huge a fan of Cloverfield, however even if you’ve never even heard of the “original”, there’s no need to fret! Let me just say, the Cloverfield name was shoehorned into this. Take out the name and this movie is one of the best contained thrillers I’ve seen in the past few years.
I really wish they took more of a Take Shelter (2011) route and created a new addition to the contained thriller genre than utilizing the name of a brand this movie had nothing to do with, save the last few moments of the third act.
This movie is incredibly suspenseful and tense. Good god man, if there was an Oscar for antagonist performances, John Goodman’s Harold ranks up there with Tom Hardy’s Fitzgerald in the favourite last year, The Revenant. The performances in general are done really well, particularly the relationship between Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Michelle and Harold. The secondary character of Emmett played by John Gallagher Jr. was fine and I think it’s just a testament to Winstead’s acting ability that she worked so well with the two. I really want to restrict inadvertently mentioning any spoilers so I will say the dynamic between the three was fantastic. Filming in confined quarters challenges an actor’s ability on what they can work with since it’s only them for long periods of times. Dan Trachtenberg’s direction (debut direction!) managed to achieve a great dynamic between the main group and creates an atmosphere of sheer uncomfortability (not a word) throughout it.
I’m not sure if this was because of the theatre I was in or what, but the score really was overpowering at times. The occasional musical pieces that accompanied the movie added some tension but there were moments where I had to think, “ALRIGHT! Cool it a bit, please!” The soundtrack though… I loved the song choices. There were occasional moments of humour that made me chuckle aloud, and immediately made me regret feeling happy for a moment. The sense of uncertainty this movie possesses is insane, I felt entirely comfortable one minute and the next I had no idea why I allowed myself to think I was safe. I need to just never use my brain again.
If you’re looking for the official sequel of Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane, it is not.
If you’re looking for a thriller with characters that don’t make you shake your head by their stupidity set in confined quarters with an incredibly layered & complex antagonist, check out 10 Cloverfield Lane.
10 Cloverfield Lane receives 4/5 Matt Damon heads.