Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

By: Patrick Doss

In 2008, J.J. Abrams produced a found footage film by the name of Cloverfield. The film had a budget of roughly twenty-five million dollars, and would become a commercial success making roughly one-hundred seventy million dollars in its box office run. The film also received fairly strong reviews, with rotten tomatoes reporting roughly 77% of critics giving it a positive review. While the found footage genre has become less and less popular over the past eight years, Cloverfield has been noted as being one of the genre’s classics. Fast forward to present day, and the Cloverfield franchise has a new project that it is even better than the first film.

J.J. Abrams once again produced a winner with the Dan Trachtenberg directed film 10 Cloverfield Lane. While the film is not a direct sequel of the original Cloverfield, Abrams has referred to it as a “blood relative”. The fact that Trachtenberg is making his directorial debut is incredibly baffling. The cinematography and script make the production aspect of the film top notch, and the small budget (only fifteen million dollars) makes it even more impressive! Another important aspect of the film is the fact that it is not a found footage film. I think that the decision to do this ultimately made it even better.

John Goodman has had a plethora of roles throughout his stellar career. He has played every role, from a goofy dad in the hit television sitcom Rosanne, to a middle aged drug dealer in the 2012 Robert Zemeckis film Flight. His latest role as Howard, the retired Navy soldier with thousands of conspiracy theories might be his best yet. Goodman’s sheer creepiness and ability to create a frightening presence truly adds another great element to the story.

Performances by both the perennial scream queen Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and actor John Gallagher Jr. were fantastic as well. While Winstead is known for her career in the horror genre (she has starred in films like The Ring Two, Final Destination 3, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Gallagher Jr. has had a career involving film, television, and theater. Both actors play their roles incredibly well, and their portrayal of the fear of entrapment is extremely believable.

Overall, 10 Cloverfield Lane is certainly a must see for anyone who enjoys a good scare. While it isn’t the scariest horror film released in the past year, it isn’t exactly for the faint of heart. It will have your heart racing and stomach churning, and it is definitely best enjoyed in the theater setting! Go and see 10 Cloverfield Lane while you still can!


Rating: 4/5