Creepy, claustrophobic and tense, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a slow paced thriller that grips from the opening shot. Despite a predictable climax and a disappointing finale, the time spent within the bunker is gripping and well paced throughout.
Waking up following a car accident, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) finds her foot chained to a wall underground and in the presence of Howard (John Goodman), a strange man who informs her he’s saved her life following a chemical attack outside that’s left the world uninhabitable. Rounding out the trio is fellow bunker resident Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) and together they set out to live their life underground away from danger. As our curiosity grows, so too does Michelle’s as she tries to work out whether she’s held captive or whether she’s been saved.
The story plays out well and the mystery is intriguing enough to keep you watching until its finale. Anyone who’s seen a lot of mysteries or thrillers may well figure this one out early but it’s a fun ride while it lasts and the tension remains surprisingly high throughout. Considering the entire film is almost exclusively set within the tight confines of a bunker, 10 Cloverfield Lane does a great job of gripping throughout.
This is partly due to the fantastic acting from all three actors and its here that the film shines. All three protagonists are given a decent amount of screen time and this helps to let their characters grow. Goodman’s character in particular is really well done and his prickly demeanor helps to elevate the mystery around what’s actually happening in the world and whether he’s telling the truth or not.
If there’s one gripe its the ending and although the film does explain what’s happening in the world, it almost feels like the film would have benefited from not revealing what was happening just to add to the tension built until that point. The allure of 10 Cloverfield was not knowing what’s happening in the world and revealing it here doesn’t feel so much of a reward, more a disappointment.
10 Cloverfield Lane is a decent thriller though and despite its predictable ending, does a good job of elevating the tension within the claustrophobic setting of the bunker. The acting is excellent too and all three main characters do well with what they’re given. Although you’re not likely to return once the mystery is resolved, its still a good film and worth a watch nonetheless.