10 CLOVERFIELD LANE; Expanding the World – Movie Review
10 Cloverfield Lane, the sequel/prequel/mystery film, is the highly anticipated follow up to the cult favorite and critically acclaimed Cloverfield, which debuted all the way back in 2008. 10 Cloverfield Lane stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and John Gallagher Jr. It’s directed by Dan Trachtenberg and is written by Josh Campbell and Matthew Stuecken. It also hits theaters starting tonight. So prepare yourselves because 10 Cloverfield Lane is one wild hell of a ride.
This review will be spoiler-free!
A woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) discovers the horrifying truth about the outside world while living in an underground shelter with two men (John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr.).
I’ve been waiting for this film for 8 years. 8 years of patiently waiting for news on a Cloverfield film, 8 years of reading fan theories, 8 years of hoping we’d get some news on this. And than nothing happened. I’ll admit that I gave up hope on this film for quite some time, somewhere around the 6 year mark. I mean the dream of having this film was still there but I honestly thought that after so many years, the hype for a follow up was almost gone. Thankfully I was wrong. Way wrong. And J.J. Abrams, along with the amazing crew, somehow managed to film this entire film and keeps its story a secret. Until this past January when they decided to randomly drop the trailer in select theaters causing massive panic to hit the internet. I honestly was shaking with excitement when it was all going down… Watching the news hit the internet was such a fun, scary, and memorable time. I watched the trailer someone filmed on there phone, I kept checking Twitter for any word from J.J. Abrams or Bad Robot… I couldn’t believe it. But here we are. I’ve seen the film. I’ve witness this new film in the Cloverfield franchise. And it kicked ass. I’m just going to jump right into the film. I’d love to discuss the brilliant marketing campaign for it but I’ll just link you here so you can read it all for yourself. (There’s a lot to cover but it’s so beautiful and exciting!)
So where to begin with 10 Cloverfield Lane… We have our base story: Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) ends up in a bunker with Howard (John Goodman) and Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) after a car wreck. She soon learns that the world is no more. And that’s it. That’s all we’ve got. So I wasn’t sure what to expect going in. But what I got in return was nothing I had prepared myself for. We’re launched into this world set in the same world as Cloverfield. We’re really launched into it by the time the title hits our screens. It’s exciting, it’s scary, it’s fresh. The film doesn’t rely on our fan favorite monster from the original, but decides to focus on the our three main characters themselves and how they’re coping with a recent “fallout”. We’re put into their shoes. We understand their terror and frustration, while the curiosity if this “fallout” is even real and what it exactly is is what drives this film.
Like I mentioned above, the layout to 10 Cloverfield Lane is quite different than what I expected. It’s more human vs nature than the latter. But this also opens the film to a bigger audience, I believe. The film clocks in at 1hr and 45 minutes and a good chunk of that is spent inside th bunker. It’s a small film, setting wise, and that was actually one of my favorite things about 10 Cloverfield Lane. It felt claustrophobic unlike Cloverfield which felt huge. At least until the end.
I really want to go into more detail about the ending but to avoid spoilers, I’ll just share some vague thoughts with you all because it needs to be discussed. I’ll admit once the end credits rolled, I was confused. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand, it’s that the ending just changes the entire history of Cloverfield for me. 10 Cloverfield Lane manages to not connect itself to Cloverfield while somehow changing our entire theory of it and its infamous monster. And with J.J. Abrams talking about making a third film, we get the feeling of what the universe holds and where we’ll be heading. Not so much Godzilla, more so Independence Day, apparently. (Note: Remember that thing that fell into the ocean at the end of Cloverfield? J.J. said they had two theories on that mysterious thing. Just keep that in mind as well.) I also think it’s also safe to note that isn’t a sequel to Cloverfield. Nor a prequel. It’s its own thing, weirdly enough. (Although I will argue that this film works as a sequel due to its ending and what we see of the world.)
10 Cloverfield Lane worked. It had a weird layout but it worked great. I also must note that the acting in this film is top notch. John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and John Gallagher Jr. put on some amazing performances in 10 Cloverfield Lane. People are already raving about John Goodman and his character, which was written so, so well. Basically this film has a lot going for it and should be viewed immediately. I absolutely loved every stress inducing second and would love a third one, if only to answer some questions that still linger in the air.