Monsters come in many forms.
Story By Josh Campbell & Matt Stuecken
Screenplay By Josh Campell & Matt Stuecken and Damien Chazelle
Directed by Dan Trachtenberg
Produced By J.J. Abrams
Like many scifi fans, I really enjoyed JJ Abrams Cloverfield. So, upon the trailer release of 10 Cloverfield Lane, my interest was high. 10 Cloverfield Lane? Wait, was this a sequel, prequel or none of the above?
Comparing the two films is totally unnecessary. Where Cloverfield builds it’s tension via “found footage”, 10 Cloverfield Lane uses a more traditional avenue but with better results.
For his first film, Director Dan Trachtenberg hits a home run with this anxiety ridden thriller. “The Cellar”, written by John Campbell and Matt Stuecken was the foundation for 10 Cloverfield Lane. Apparently, the script had been floating around awhile until it was re-purposed into the current story. The team responsible for discovering this story and bringing it the big screen must be commended!
At the beginning we’re introduced to Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who is leaving her husband. This emotional sequence is a nice table setter for the movie. While driving, something crashes into Michelle’s car which of course provides a nice backdrop to how she ends up in the bunker. It’s at this bunker we’re introduced to Howard. (John Goodman) Howard is a fascinating yet scary character and John Goodman really shines in his performance. After waking up, Michelle realizes she’s chained to a bed and starts screaming. What the heck is going on? It’s at this moment things get really suspenseful! Along the way the third and final character joins the party. Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) is a wide eyed simple minded farm hand that seemingly gets under Howards skin.
The movie rushes through at a brisk pace but never falters in it’s execution of suspense. Despite moments of hilarity, the sense of dread is relentless as it builds tension while anticipating the horrific ending we all know is coming. It’s a masterful job and the reward is an unforgettable movie. Hell, it’s not often I clinch my seat while watching movies! Whew, bravo Dan Trachtenberg! Bravo! Ultimately, I can’t decide what scared me more. The horror of alien domination or the horror of 10 Cloverfield Lane.
If intense close-quarter horror gives you nightmares, consider yourself warned. The feelings of claustrophobia are real. Go see this film, you won’t be disappointed!