Directed by Dan Trachtenberg [Other horror films: N/A]
Talk about a rather masterfully-done film. A spiritual successor to the 2008 Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a damn good movie with a very competent cast and spectacular suspense.
Much of this lies in the ambiguity of the situation Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character finds herself in. Waking up in a doomsday bunker after being abducted by Howard (John Goodman), and told that there’s been some type of invasion, and she’s safer there, it’s a tense, tense movie with a lot of twists and turns.
John Goodman is an actor I’ve always appreciated. He was great in Roseanne, and pretty much everything else. He does look healthier here than he did in Red State (2011), which I’m grateful for. Here, his performance is superb, and he comes across both as genial and other times rather threatening and absolutely batshit. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is an actress I know from limited exposure (Final Destination 3, Live Free or Die Hard, and the short-lived series BrainDead), but she does great here, and totally feels right in the role. John Gallagher Jr. (from The Newsroom) is pretty solid also, and brings a little humor to the film.
The tense, suspenseful plot of this film is one that I can’t imagine easily being rivaled, and when you have such a great cast, everything comes nicely together. Toward the end, when some of the hard-asked questions finally have a light shined upon them, the movie loses a bit of it’s magic, but I rather like the final scene, so I think that some of the loss of suspense can be forgiven.
Given my somewhat lukewarm reaction toward Cloverfield, I am happy to say that you can definitely watch this as a stand-alone, and I’d highly recommend doing so, as this really is a damn good film with a lot going for it, such as Goodman’s great performance and the fantastically-crafted, tense story.