10 Cloverfield Lane | Third Space

10 Cloverfield Lane

'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' - Charles Caleb Colton
Thu 10 Mar 2016

3.5 out of 5 stars

J.J Abrams is on a roll... Follow the success of Star Wars with this follow-up to one of his greatest thrillers, Cloverfield? Or is it a follow up??

First-time director Dan Trachtenberg is given the helm of the latest Bad Robot production (JJ Abrams production company) and he seems to be honouring Alfred Hitchcock or at least M. Night Shyamalan with this latest suspense thriller. Telling the tale of Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a young woman who after an argument with her boyfriend is travelling through the Louisiana countryside and experiences a horrific car accident. She wakes up in a cinder block cell and realises that she is not in a hospital but is being held captive. Her captor is Howard (John Goodman), a man who claims that he not only saved her from the carnage of the car accident, but from an attack from an unknown enemy on the seaboard of the United States. He explains that they have to remain in the bunker until the contaminated air clears outside the underground compound. Residing in the shelter with this senior conspiracy theorist is Emmet (John Gallagher Jr.), the young man who helped to build the underground structure and convinced Howard to take him in when the attack began. In this bizarre scenario, Emmet and Michelle must determine if Howard's reality is in fact true or if it all merely comes from the imagination of this delusional survivalist.
The biggest challenge of this critique is not giving away the key plot points that make this such an entertaining suspense thriller. Giving a nod to the JJ Abrams 2008 thriller Cloverfield in title and genre only, Trachtenberg manages to deliver a film that stands on its own in amongst great suspense directors. He takes from the playbook of these thriller masters and adds his own touch to a well-worn style of filming. The young director provides the needed tension through effective camera work, a well-timed script and capitalising on a master acting class from John Goodman.
Reminiscent of Kathy Bates in Misery, Goodman walks that fine line between captor and saviour. His delivery provides the needed precision to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. Winstead and Gallagher provide the innocence and survival instincts to be convincing foils to Goodman's paranoid character. Through this talented thespian trifecta they keep their foot on the pedal of tension and drive this film through until the twisted conclusion.

Keeping the majority of the film within the confines of a bunker that is built under Howard's house in rural Louisiana adds to the combustible anxiety. Coupled with that, you have an engaging script that allows for enough back story and needed clues to pull viewers into the claustrophobic confines. Each step along the journey makes Howard's story plausible, but because of his disturbing manner there is always doubt in his potentially sinister intentions.

The enigmatic marketing plan and keeping the storyline under tight secrecy adds to the appeal of 10 Cloverfield Lane. Trachtenberg brings a freshness to this genre with the inclusion of unique soundtrack choices and the subtle and well-timed nuance of each character to make it worth seeing in the cinemas. Playing on the fears of many about future events, the production will deftly manipulate people's emotions and delivers a compelling suspense thriller.

REEL DIALOGUE: What are some of the bigger questions to consider from this film?

How will the world come to an end? It is a the question of the ages.

Books, film and religions all try to answer this query that plagues everyone at some point in their life. It can bring out fear in much of the population and conspiracy theorists who merely have to provide plausible answers to cause people to continue to ask the question. What does the Bible have to say about it all? The book of Revelation can be a confusing and misunderstood book, but it is worth engaging with others on this informative text for a clearer answer of the end of the world as we know it.

1. Can we find truth in this world?
2. Can we ever find justice?
3. How can get we peace about the end of the world?