A woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) gets in a car crash and wakes up in a bunker, chained to the wall. Her captor (John Goodman) claims there has been some sort of apocalyptic attack above ground and that he is protecting her. As things unravel, it comes to light that he may be right.
Well this is quite the roller-coaster ride. Crossing the ‘captured in the room by a crazy guy’ with the post-apocalyptic survival genre was a stroke of genius. 10 Cloverfield Lane is tense from end-to-end and keeps you guessing right until the credits.
The suspense comes from several places. John Goodman gives a chilling performance as Howard, the prepper, never quite putting us at ease. He has that disturbing all-knowing look about him; nothing gets past him even if you think it has.
The script is just so unpredictable, it’s edge-of-the-seat stuff and you never quite know where you are. Trachtenberg does a great job at putting us in the protagonist’s shoes. We are constantly re-evaluating the situation; what are Howard’s intentions? What, if anything is going on outside? How dangerous would it be to escape?
10 Cloverfield Lane strikes gold by keeping it simple yet smart, and breathes new life into a ropey old idea. As a side-note, it’s also nice to see a good ending - something that is beginning to feel like a lost art…