‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ | A Sequel That’s Better Than The Original (Review)

Written By: Traves Bezenar

I was skeptical about watching ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’. I spent the money to see the original ‘Cloverfield’ in theaters way back in 2008 and left feeling robbed. I’ve never been a fan of the found footage or handycam style of film making. In my opinion, it looks and feels cheap, and I’m not paying $16.00 per ticket for something that looks like It was made in someone’s basement. So suffice it to say, I had a lot of preconceived notions when I slid ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ into my bluray player on Sunday afternoon. To the film’s credit, I was pleasantly surprised. I wish I could have seen ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ when it was released in theaters back on March 11th, but I figured if I hated the original so much there is noway the sequel would be worth it. So I didn;t go and saved my money, big mistake. I feel like I’m partially responsible for the movie only making $72Mil compared to ‘Cloverfield’s’ $80Mil. The sequel is better in almost every conceivable way and deserved to do better than the steaming pile that was the original 'Cloverfield'.

I’ve been watching John Goodman on TV and in movies for as long as I can remember. I’ve always enjoyed him as an actor but I never would have said he was great. That opinion changed within the first fifteen minutes of ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’. Goodman is without a doubt giving the performance of his career in this one. He plays his character, Howard, perfectly, allowing you to simultaneously feel sorry for him while also hating him with a passion. Likewise, Mary Elizabeth Winstead gives a powerful performance as Michelle. We watch her turn from victim to heroine in an amazingly realistic and human way. The other big player, and really, the only other player in ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ is John Gallagher Jr as Emmett. Like Goodman and Winstead, Gallagher gives it his all. He might not be the most interesting character of the three but I felt a strong connection to him nonetheless, and really enjoyed his progression from wallowing loser to self sacrificing hero.

While the acting was certainly top notch, I think the thing I liked best about ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ was the overall tone of the movie. It’s simply perfect from start to finish. From the muted green tint the film has, all the way to the impressive score, there is nothing to not like about the movie from a technical standpoint. If I had to point out one flaw (and I’m seriously struggling to find one here) it’s that the movie felt like it moved too fast. Not to fast in the sense that it was confusing or hard to follow, but in the sense that I didn't want to story to end. Yeah, it’s that good.

Speaking of the story, ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ has a fantastic plot. People, like myself, that have seen the original ‘Cloverfield’ will have an idea what’s really going on outside of the bunker, but people going in blind are in for a real treat. ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ is a masterfully written, directed, and acted suspense movie. The tension builds quickly at first, tapers off in the middle, and then explodes towards the end leading to a huge plot twist that will leave you asking WTF?  As you can probably guess, I’m being purposely vague as to not ruin the ending. I’ll leave it at this, ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ is a movie that will send you on an emotional roller coaster, it’s scary, heartwarming, suspenseful, and guaranteed to mess with your mind at some point.

Who would I recommend ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’ to? Literally everyone. I can’t stress enough how much I loved this movie. It’s truly a masterpiece in my opinion and everyone old enough to handle the adult themes and scary scenes should be in line at Walmart to purchase this movie by days end.

Grade: 4.5/5