10 Cloverfield Lane

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, March 16th, 2016 at 9:26 PM
10 Cloverfield Lane by Andy Vest
Winstead, Gallagher and Goodman deliver standout performances in this sci-fi thriller.

Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot Productions’ latest film, “10 Cloverfield Lane,” was released on Friday, March 11. The film is a science fiction thriller, and bares a similar name to 2008 film, “Cloverfield.” According to J. J. Abrams, producer of the film, it’s not an actual sequel and he sees it more as a “blood relative,” hence the shared designation.

In fact, the movie was originally titled “The Cellar” and didn’t become “10 Cloverfield Lane” until Bad Robot entered the picture. The movie was kept under strict secrecy. Lead actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who plays Michelle, called it a “really contained film.”

The script was written in 2012 and finished shooting back on Dec. 15, 2014. It wasn’t until Jan. 15, 2016, barely even three months before the film’s scheduled release, that the announcement was made via a trailer that appeared seemingly out of nowhere.

The majority of the film takes place in a bunker that was created by Howard Stambler (John Goodman), who is eventually joined by two other characters, Michelle and Emmet (John Gallagher Jr.). The bunker was created by Howard and is filled with everything they need to survive during an attack. As the movie progresses, bits and pieces of the characters’ histories are revealed. The actors all give powerful performances, so strong that reviewers have stated the acting is Oscar nomination worthy, especially for John Goodman.

Howard tells Michelle early on in the film: “I’m going to keep you alive. You were in an accident and I saved your life by bringing you here and everyone outside of here is dead.” The script for this film is smart, funny and edge-of-the-seat gripping. At certain points you will probably think that “okay, all they are doing is talking,” but it is always at these moments, which seem strategically placed, and without being forced, where the shocking and jaw-dropping moments occur.

I know the scarce-to-almost no information on this film, other than three characters in a bunker, isn’t much to go on, but I promise that this film was produced perfectly. Three characters in a bunker for almost two hours never becomes dull or boring. The mystery of this movie should be how its production was: a secret. It’s one of the beautiful things about this film; that everything you think you know, is beyond what you think it is, but yet also what you think it is, at the same time. Confused? You will see exactly what I mean by the end of the movie. Nothing in this flick is predictable, nor does it contain any moments for the audience to yell at the characters, “Why are you so stupid?,” which is common in this genre.

Possible spoilers loom ahead.

The original Cloverfield connections are minuscule, but that doesn’t mean the movie lacks a monster. A monster does exist in this movie, but whether it’s human, psychological, or a creature is what you need to find out. So go see this terrific and thrilling ride when you get the chance and I guarantee you will not be disappointed. The movie suggests that “something is coming.” You will not be prepared for it.

Andy Vest is a Staff Writer for The Spectator.

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