10 Cloverfield Lane, where to even start? I had been excited for this film since I saw the haunting trailer not long since and found myself invested in the story before I had even seen it. The film is a spiritual sequel to Cloverfield, I hadn’t originally seen this film so I was nervous into whether or not I would be confused. Fear not, the film stands alone by itself and you do not have to see the first.
The story begins with our protagonist Michelle, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, being involved in an accident and finding herself being ‘rescued’ in a bunker by Howard, John Goodman, who is initially seen as a strange character. In the bunker is also Emmett who managed to get into the bunk just as Howard was closing it. Ultimately Michelle finds out that the world above isn’t safe and that she has no choice but to stay in the bunker. As the film progresses we learn more about the inhabitants of the bunker leading the suggestion that perhaps it is more dangerous inside.
Unliked Cloverfield, which is filmed in a found footage style, 10 Cloverfield Lane is filmed in a third-person narrative and at times seems like a staged drama. The cinematography, the editing and music all blend together to form such an excellent combination. The use of the sound is a key area, as there are many times in which we are placed in the characters position and we simply hear the world above instead of seeing it. The editing too follows the character in moments which are fast paced being disorientating and the moments of status-quo being slow paced. 10 Cloverfield Lane is Dan Trachtenberg’s directorial debut and it is simply breathtaking. I don’t use that often, but the film left me in pieces. The acting from all the cast was incredible each playing their parts with brilliance, Winstead being the determined heroine constantly fighting, Goodman being the eerie stranger and Gallagher, Jr being the comedic relief and assisting the hero. I watched the film with anxiety and couldn’t sit still, the film is a prime example of an active audience member as you feel along with the heroine. To do this film justice in a simple review is not enough, it’s engaging, enigmatic and captivating up until the end.