10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

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It’s rare that I see a movie that I know absolutely nothing about, but tonight I did. 10 Cloverfield Lane is a sci-fi and a psychological thriller all rolled into one, and it keeps the audience on their toes from start to finish. Hailed as being a ‘spiritual successor’ to the 2008 film, Cloverfield, this film had me enthralled from the get go.

We begin with Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who wakes after a car accident to find herself chained up in a cement room. Enter Howard, (John Goodman), who says there has been an ‘attack’, and that he saved her life by bringing her into his bunker. She naturally assumes her captor is either lying or crazy but after a couple of failed, albeit creative, escape attempts, she meets Emmett (John Gallagher Jr), Howard’s gregarious neighbour, and fellow survivor of the supposed attack, who confirms the story. With nothing else to do but wait out the assumed apocalypse in the cleverly decked out bunker, the three settle into a relatively comfortable living arrangement, but not all is as it seems.

Having no prior knowledge of this film or its franchise, I didn’t know what to expect. Much like the protagonist, just when I thought I had it figured out, something would happen to throw me off. It was superbly acted, and the small cast did great things with their respective characters. Particular kudos goes to John Goodman for his thoroughly chilling portrayal of a doomsday prepper that perhaps enjoys the bunker life just a little too much.

While there are many out there who found the ending to be pointless or not in keeping with the rest of the film, I have to disagree. I’m not going to spoil anything for you, except to say that it is an ingenious way to meld a typical thriller into a sci-fi, and create a seamless link to this film’s predecessor.

If you’re looking for a film that is in equal parts intriguing and entertaining, with an unnerving antagonist, a creatively kickass female lead and some awesome alien action, 10 Cloverfield Lane is the movie for you.

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