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10 Cloverfield Lane Review

Cloverfield is a 2008 sci-fi found footage giant monster movie that caused quite a stir back in the day due to its online viral marketing, and the fact that no-one really knew it was being made. It’s also on the VERY long list of movies I want to see but haven’t gotten around to yet. Sorry. Anyway it’s 8 years later and they’ve basically managed to do it again but different. About 2 months ago 10 Cloverfield Lane was revealed to have not only been basically made, but would be releasing very soon. That alone was enough to peak my interest; almost nothing gets made nowadays without someone on the internet hearing about it. It’s also not really a sequel so much as it is a spin-off. The Cloverfield Monster isn’t featured, it’s not a found footage movie, there are no returning characters, and it’s basically switched genre’s from “Realistic alien monster movie from the perspective of random citizens on the street” to a really enclosed small-scale thriller. Well, here we are.


10 Cloverfield Lane is probably going to go down as one of the years biggest success stories. It’s not only probably going to be a pretty successful little movie at the box office, but it’s an incredible first film for director Dan Trachtenberg, easily one of the best movie’s released so far this year, and probably the most affecting and intense thriller you’ll see all year. And this is coming from someone who’s really not a horror or thriller fan, like at all. I really don’t wanna spoil most of what makes this movie good, so I’ll try not to spoil anything because the less you know the better. The best aspect about this movie are the performances. There are really only 3 main actors in the whole movie, and they are all freaking terrific. John Gallagher Jr. is actually a really good comedic supporting character with surprisingly more depth than these kinds of characters usually get. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is probably one of my favorite female main characters I’ve seen in quite some time. She’s got a lot of depth, every decision she makes is really rational and smart, and you genuinely feel a lot of real desperation to see her get out of this situation alive. It’s John Goodman who comes out with the most memorable performance though. His character is one of the scariest villains I’ve ever seen put to screen. Even though you never know exactly what’s going through his head, you definitely know someone in real life who reminds you a lot of this guy. It’s this level of authenticity that makes 10CL such an unnerving experience. The tension just keeps ratcheting up and up as the movie progresses. Not to say the movie doesn’t have moments of levity either; in fact the movie has such a well written script that the movie manages to move through almost every emotion possible in this situation with ease. To top it all off is Dan Trachtenburg’s direction. This guy is going places, holy crap is this guy going places. This is a director who really understands how to set an environment. The bunker that the majority of the movie takes place in feels like a really lived in environment, and he makes sure that you know every inch of it by the end of the movie. He’s also got an incredible understanding of objects and tools. Every item that’s used by the characters is focused on, he doesn’t ever pull that stupid movie trick where an item just happens to be lying around (except maybe at the end), he makes sure you know exactly where everything is and when it’s going to be used later.


If there’s one thing people will probably have a problem with about 10 Cloverfield Lane, it’s the ending. It’s a little rushed compared to the rest of the movie, which is incredibly well paced, and for the relative few who aren’t aware of the original Cloverfield at all then it’s probably going to feel really out-of-place. Regardless, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a really special little movie experience you should check out as soon as possible; and I’m sure we’ll be discussing this more at the end of the year.

The Media Fire gives this movie 8.9/10

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Sam Wilson
Non-professional critic.