"10 Cloverfield Lane" stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, and John Gallagher Jr. Released on March 11, 2016, the film is about a woman who wakes up in a basement after a car accident to find that the outside world is "inhabitable".
The film features the directorial debut of Dan Trachtenberg, who was one of the three hosts of The Totally Rad Show, and is produced by J. J. Abrams. It serves as a spiritual successor of the 2008 film, Cloverfield. However, they do not share the same fictional universe or continuity, so if someone asks you if this movie is a sequel or prequel to Cloverfield, just say no. I'm pretty sure that none of you had heard about this mysterious film until the trailer appeared 2 months before its release. I was one of those people who didn't know, apparently. It's been quite a while since I saw Cloverfield, which I thought was pretty good. After I saw the trailer for the first time, I was interested in seeing how they made a film that doesn't connect to the 2008 film at all. Before I give out my opinion on this film, I would like to say great job to the marketing team for keeping it a mystery until it comes out. Very smart of them to do that. Also, I'll try my best to keep my review spoiler-free in case you haven't seen it yet.
The performances were very strong from start to finish. Winstead was remarkable as Michelle, a woman who is trapped in the basement with a man (played by John Goodman) who claims that he saved her life and that the world outside is filled with toxic air. One of my favorite things about this film is John Goodman himself. My god, can this guy act or what? He brought so much mystery and fear into his character that he makes the audience question themselves whether or not he's telling the truth. Goodman delivered some good and entertaining performances throughout his career, but his performance right here, this might be his best one yet. Gallagher Jr. portrays Emmet, another man in the basement who befriends Michelle. He was good as well, and his sense of humor kept the film from being too serious. The story is really engaging and filled with tension and mystery. There were a couple of slow parts at first, but it didn't bother me that much because I was engaged with these characters throughout the entire film. The mystery behind this film doesn't feel too drawn out and there were a few twists that may or may not surprise you. Director Dan Trachtenberg did an amazing job at delivering the intensity, the buildup, and its simplicity without being too convoluted or cheesy, and the third act…my god, you just have to see it for yourself. It was quite a shock.
Overall, "10 Cloverfield Lane" is a thrilling science fiction treat that's well-acted, brilliantly filled with tension and mystery, and remarkably directed. To be honest, I was quite surprised by how it turned out. Not only was it one of the most interesting and intense films I've seen in 2016, but also one of the best science fiction films I've seen in a while. If you're a fan of J. J. Abrams' filmography or looking for an intense thrill ride, this film is worth checking out. Man, now I need to watch Cloverfield again…