TL;DR – Wow, just wow, this film has just 3 actors, is basically filmed in the one set, and yet it is one of the most tense films I have ever seen.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Tension in films is a very difficult thing to pull off, if you keep things tense for too long the audience gets exhausted, but if you try to apply the brakes you can shatter the suspension of disbelief and you can’t get that back. I bring this up because 10 Cloverfield Lane is a masterpiece in managing tension, and is a testament to what you can do with such a small budget.
The movie starts with Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) deciding to leave her fiancé and her house, and just drive leaving New Orleans behind in the dust. In the middle of some rural part of Louisiana, she listens to the radio announcing weird power outages and ignoring phone calls from fiancé, only to be hit suddenly by another car and flipped off the road. She wakes up to find herself in a bunker with Howard (John Goodman) and Emmett (John Gallagher, Jr.) and I won’t say any more than this because we will be in spoiler territory.
There are so many things this film get right, the acting of the three leads is spot on, and that is important when they are the only people on screen. From this point onwards I will never see John Goodman in quite the same light and Mary Elizabeth Winstead acts realistically in every scene, this is an award winning performance. The set design is great, and given you only really have one set, you have got to make it work. The pacing of the film is perfect, when there needs to be action there is, when there needs to be a pause there is, when there needs to be mystery there is, but when stuff needs to happen, you know why it is happening.
I think the best thing I can say is that I want to talk much more about this film, but I feel I can’t because you really should experience it for yourselves. I was engrossed in this film from start to end, and I highly recommend you have a watch and given it is been directed by a first time director it is truly astounding.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Directed by – Dan Trachtenberg
Screenplay by – Damien Chazelle, Josh Campbell & Matt Stuecken
Story by – Josh Campbell & Matt Stuecken
Starring – John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead & John Gallagher Jr.
Rating – Australia: MA15+; Canada: 18A; Ireland: 16; NZ: R; UK: 15, USA: R