10 Cloverfield Lane Review

The weekend this movie came out, I went to the theater with the choice of either seeing this or Eddie the Eagle and I went with Eddie the Eagle. And while I did really enjoy that movie, I regret not seeing this in theaters because this movie was fantastic.
I can’t say I’m much of a horror fan, even though I have come to see the appeal of the genre thanks to shows like Constantine and the new film “Lights Out” has started to intrigue me. I bring that up because a horror movie was what I was expecting to find with this movie. In reality, it’s not as much of a horror film as it is a psychological thriller. Don’t get me wrong. This movie has its decent amount of scares, but not entirely the kind you might think. The scares come from the tension throughout the movie which is handled fantastically. It’s hard to describe it without going into spoilers but you really feel like you’re inside this bunker with these characters and you feel the same fear and confusion they do.
The acting in this movie is equally fantastic. Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr. both give great performances and work really well off each other but the real standout of this movie is John Goodman as Howard. His performance is just so complex as is his character and the mystery behind him. Sometimes he appears to be a soft spoken nice guy but other times he can and will go completely nuts. Again, it’s hard to describe without spoiling it.
I only have two gripes with the film, but honestly, I wonder if they even qualify. The first is the ending. I honestly don’t know how I feel about it. Let’s just say that even though this is, to a degree, supposed to be set in the same timeline as the original Cloverfield movie, which I haven’t seen, I can’t decide if that fact makes the ending plausible or not. It’s hard to explain. And the other gripe is really just a nit-pick which is that the beginning of the film is odd. It’s this weird scene with all the sound cut out with nothing but the music. In some cases, this can be an interesting artistic choice, but this just felt kind of awkward.
I feel like there is so much to say but also not much to say. I will give praise to director Dan Trachtenberg. This is his directorial debut and he delivered a dark, compelling, thrilling and even kind of fun movie. 10 Cloverfield Lane gets 4.5 out of 5 stars. If you’re in for a blood-pumping thrill ride, then definitely check it out.

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