“10 Cloverfield Lane” has been described as a distant relative of the 2008 film “Cloverfield,” but the details have been a deeply kept secret by everyone involved. Thankfully, the film does not rely on it’s predecessor to be an intelligently crafted thriller.
The movie follows Michelle, a young woman who wakes up in a doomsday shelter after a car crash. She is told by Howard, the owner of said shelter, that the world outside has been lost to an airborne disease and that he saved her life. With understandable doubt, Michelle teams up with a fellow survivor, Emmett, to discover if Howard is telling the truth.
The film excels at creating mystery, ingeniously pacing the film to provide an equal amount of satisfying answers. It’s constantly laying a trail of questions and answers, one that will take hold of your attention and won’t let go until the credits roll. Yet it also finds time to develop interesting characters and a creeping sense of claustrophobia.
The always great John Goodman delivers an especially sinister performance as Howard. His character is unpredictable and off-putting (to say the least) which only adds to the tension. There’s rarely a moment of rest, especially in the first two-thirds before the plot twists are truly is revealed.
Sadly, the film fumbles in the third act and starts to go off the rails. The events are somewhat farfetched, but it’s not enough to ruin the experience of the previous hour and a half.
For fans of “Cloverfield,” this may be a disappointment as the connections to the first film are minimal. For those who love character-focused “Hitchcockian” thrillers, “10 Cloverfield Lane” will be a smart, engaging and entertaining ride.
For those who like David Fincher, The Twilight Zone and falling off the edge of their seat.