Movie Reviewed: 10 Cloverfield Lane
Director: Dan Trachtenberg
Date Reviewed: 5 March 2017
What a trip! I am so glad that I knew very little about this film going in, so my review is going to be vague and preservative of the thrills and chills inherent in 10 Cloverfield Lane. A young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) flees New Orleans and wakes up from a violent car crash to find herself underground, recovering from her injuries under the care of a survivalist (John Goodman). There's another man there too, Emmett (John Gallagher, Jr.), recovering with a broken arm. Something has happened, apparently, above ground, and the retreating to this bunker necessary. Is it the apocalypse? War? Space invaders? Paranoia? All of them at once?
Development leads to development, and one of the wonders of Trachtenberg's film is the off-kilter feeling of getting your bearings, thinking you know where the film is heading, and then getting knocked down. Completely. The performances are wonderful, especially Winstead who must cover so many emotions within the confined space as she tries to out-think the growing chaos around her. Trachtenberg is a major talent here, allowing the tension to build and build. I think that the ending is simply marvelous in its boldness.
I do not want to write more. I admire this film, its construction, its surprises, its payoffs. I think it deserves to be seen by as many people as possible, and I want to see more films like it. What holds it back from being perfect? I can't put my finger on it. I think revisiting this film in a few months will probably force me to revise this rating to four stars. Highly recommended.