10 CLOVERFIELD LANE Review: A Tense, Creepy, and Satisfying CLOVERFIELD Relative

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Now this is an expertly crafted thriller.

Existing in the same universe as Cloverfield but not much more than that (or is it?), this slow burn of a monster movie isn’t really about monsters at all (or is it?).

It’s hard to even talk about 10 Cloverfield Lane without spoiling anything, so I’m going to keep it brief. Basically, I loved nearly everything about it, and this is coming from someone who went in very skeptical.

This is a small scale and ultimately satisfying thriller that feels like something Hitchcock would’ve made if he were alive today (with a typical Bad Robot thing or two added). It’s tense, creepy, and unsettling, and while this is due to the script, its effectiveness wouldn’t be the same without John Goodman.

Goodman is a fine presence here, and I never thought I would be saying this before the thing started, but I think this is the best performance he has given since Barton Fink in 1991. His portrayal of this survivalist/potential psychopath (combined with Goodman’s natural physical structure) makes for one of the most memorable and unnerving cinematic characters of this sort in recent memory.

That’s taking nothing away from supporting player John Gallagher, Jr. (who I loved watching in The Newsroom ), who here gives a strong performance to go alongside lead player Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

And while the great John Goodman steals the show, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is our hero here, and she is great in the role, bringing a tangible sense of confusion and a will to survive in this small bunker with a large and imposing psychopath. I’ve always been a fan of hers, and I think this is a very good performance and a badass female lead that reminded me a lot of Sharni Vinson in You’re Next .

It’s a slow thriller that eases its way into your bones, and that’s the brilliance of it. It’s no explosion-a-minute-creature-feature like Cloverfield , but instead a very tense and suspenseful edge-of-your-seat thriller that will shake you once, twice, and then find its way under your skin.

P.S. Screw the haters. I loved the final ten minutes.
And yes, Goodman is more than Oscar-worthy.

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