Bringing his own vision to J.J. Abrams’ “Cloverfield” (2008), Dan Trachtenberg makes his directorial debut with a loosely based sequel, “10 Cloverfield Lane.”
After a heated argument with her boyfriend, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) races down country highways in the night. Just as a strange radio emergency broadcast starts, she is suddenly catapulted into a major collision of an unknown source.
Michelle wakes some time later to find herself injured, connected to an IV and chained to a mattress in a dark basement. Confused, she suspects she’s being held captive, until she meets Howard (John Goodman) and Emmett (John Gallagher, Jr.), who informs her that some type of catastrophic event has happened outside. Michelle is not entirely convinced of their claims. She slowly comes to realize all three of them are sealed in an underground bunker.
John Goodman gives a powerful performance, leading viewers astray in guessing his true intent. John Gallagher, Jr. provides some light comedic relief, while Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays an intelligent damsel in distress, who eventually fits the pieces together of this horrendous puzzle.
“10 Cloverfield Lane” slowly unravels into a claustrophobic spine-chilling thriller. It would have been more successful as a stand alone story rather than being written as a sequel. The story itself leads its audience on a cat-and-mouse game of potential possibilities and outcomes.
Fans of the original “Cloverfield” may feel slightly disappointed considering the sequel leans more towards suspense thriller rather than science fiction. For one, it isn’t filmed from a handheld first-person perspective, which made the original film so unique. Rather than gigantic space Kauji, “10 Cloverfield Lane” focuses more on the psychological aspects of everyday people thrown into extreme situations of distress.