10 Cloverfield Lane: Film Review – A Thrilling Experience

Verdict: Mysterious, gripping and raw; not ideal if you’re claustrophobic!

It’s hard to come across an action thriller these days which depends solely on plot and performance. Graphic and sound effects are added to the story, to make it more riveting and intense. Hollywood often relies on destruction for a better visual effect. But 10 Cloverfield Lane managed to do away with these tropes, by focusing on its story of many twists and turns. Produced by J. J. Abrams, this movie is the second installment of the Cloverfield franchise, after the 2008 movie Cloverfield. Keep in mind that 10 Cloverfield Lane is not a sequel. If you expect gruesome horror, this is not the movie you are looking for. But it definitely guarantees a more thrilling experience than its predecessor.  

The beginning gives the audience a look into the accident of lead character Michelle played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. When she finally wakes up after suffering from shock, Michelle finds herself in an underground bunker, with a chain clasped on her leg. Initially, it seems like she is kept hostage by Howard Stambler (John Goodman), who got her there. But he later reveals to her about the apocalypse that has wiped away the human populace above the ground, due to an unknown poisonous gas released into the air. The two seem to be the only living people, accompanied by Emmett DeWitt (John Gallagher, Jr), who fled to the bunker when things went haywire. Michelle is distrustful of Stambler’s intentions right from the start, and even manages to flee the bunker, almost, before she realizes that he was telling the truth. The rest of the story abounds with many twists, turns, and revelations that put your wildest imagination to shame. 

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The story seems to start off on a very slow note, but the pace picks up, along with the action. Winstead performs some miraculous stunts, which make you question her real identity before the apocalypse. Many other parts of the plot were left ambiguous, especially about Stambler’s relationship with Michelle. These open-ended interpretations are what make the otherwise dull script exciting. The acting was impeccable, and the action highly engaging, with certain scenes bringing you to the edge of your seat. The heavy narrative, however, makes it tedious to watch. This only gets better towards the end, which demands your full attention,with its totally unpredictable twist, in classic J. J. Abrams style.

At the end of it all, the movie does teach a lesson, which is that monsters come in many forms. Goodman delivers a brilliant performance, playing his good guy/bad guy part perfectly. While the story revolves around the character of Winstead, it is Stambler who steals the show, mainly due to his impulsive characterization and shifty intentions. Even with minimal set and visual effects, the movie captures a lot more than most other films of the same genre.

 

Why Should You Watch This Movie:

10 Cloverfield Lane promises plenty of meat for sci-fi and action lovers. There’s fantasy, drama, extreme stunts, and a lot more, if you have the stomach for it.

 

Release Date: 29 Apr, 2016
Language: English
Director: Dan Trachtenberg
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Cast & Crew: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr.
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