Reviewing The 10 Cloverfield Lane,Directed By Dan Trachtenberg

10 Cloverfield Lane PosterDirector: Dan Trachtenberg

Starring: John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr.

Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery

Release Year: 2016

Movie Rating:


Puzzled and scared, she is greeted by Howard (John Goodman) who says that he rescued her from the accident and also the airborne chemical attack that has wiped the population outside.Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is going through a rough time in her relationship and starts on a road trip alone. She meets with an accident and wakes up in a basement with her legs chained to the wall. She remains skeptical and when clue after clue unfolds, she understands the true nature of Howard.


Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a talented actress and she seems to have found the right balance between off-beat independent cinema and mega-budget studio offerings and this movie actually is a bit of both. The tense atmosphere, terrific acting by its leads, the suspenseful twists along the way kept me quite engaged until it is all undone by a hasty, under-cooked climax that threw all the good work done so far out the window.Did it really happen? Is he good? Is the other guy good? Am I still the same person? Too many questions keep popping up throughout the movie without getting much of the answers for most part.

If the rumors are right, a script about an abduction of a girl followed by imprisonment in a basement (aptly titled ‘Cellar’) has been modified to have a science fiction twist after JJ Abrams production company Bad Robot acquired it. More rumors try to connect it with 2008’s independent hit ‘Cloverfield’ but I couldn’t find where the link was.


Just when Michelle seems to make a little breakthrough, a highly coincidental incident occurs to put her back in place. Mary Elizabeth Winstead gives a terrific performance as the scared and vulnerable girl who is unsure whether to be grateful to her savior or fight her way out from the abductor.The movie starts with a beautiful soundtrack that loops through the first few voiceless minutes and broken by Michelle’s accident which is when the story kicks in. The screenplay toys with the audience by giving the same knowledge what Michelle has and letting us think with her and solve the puzzle. So the screenplay could have been a little more smarter there.

She is well supported by John Gallagher Jr. playing Emmett who is yet another occupant of the basement and helps her put some thoughts through. The genre fusion which is very prevalent these days targeted to reach more audience, might actually be in a little trouble losing out on the actual genre audience. They share a warm friendly chemistry especially during the montage when they have to kill the time through board games. But John Goodman’s fantastic performance as the temperamental conspiracy nut whose mysterious intentions is what takes the movie to another level. As the screenplay puts clues in strategic places and keeps mounting the suspense, it will only work if there is a huge payoff and there is one – but might not be to the liking of everyone.


A tense atmospheric thriller supported by able cast is possibly let down by an under-cooked payoff that is not worth the wait.