Spoilers would prefer to be outside.

Funny enough, this is the only Cloverfield film I had already seen previous to starting covering all three. Now that I’ve seen the rest, I’m no longer looking for a strong connection. Cloverfield ends up becoming more of a playground for different directors and movie styles to highlight. The horror genre might be the only thing in common, and even the horror style varies wildly from one movie to another. This can be a positive aspect, and I’ll try to explain why.

(Credit: Paramount Pictures)

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) was directed by Dan Trachtenberg with a screenplay from Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken and Damien Chazelle. It is produced by J. J. Abrams and Lindsay Weber. Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has a car accident and wakes up inside a bunker. Howard (John Goodman) claims that he has taken her inside to save her from an alien invasion that has poisoned the world. In the bunker is another man named Emmet (John Gallagher, Jr.) who was also “rescued”, sporting a broken arm. That’s all you need to know.

This is one of those films that is lightning in a bottle and I didn’t mind rewatching it. It’s somewhere between horror and thriller, making the best out of its one confined location. John Goodman really shines in his performance of a possibly disturbed individual, walking the line between delusional self-righteous and psychotic. You’re not sure until further along where to stand with him. Mary Elizabeth Winstead also gives a great performance as Michelle.

Whether the movie is part of the Cloverfield universe was something that wasn’t confirmed initially allowing some ambiguity in what is happening outside. Now that everyone knows, you probably could guess somewhat of what’s going on, but I found the movie still works. The fact that it is a completely different context, style and plot than Cloverfield means there is no real overarching storyline. Anybody can make a Cloverfield movie and use any sub-genre of horror. This gives any director complete freedom and still be on brand.

Strongly recommended. This is a horror-thriller full of suspense that has some moments that still have me holding my breath. The outstanding performance of John Goodman is worth the ticket (or the monthly fee) alone. It’s hard to say whether this one or the original are the strongest offerings of the “franchise” but it still holds scary today even knowing the outcome. More than worth a watch.

That will do for now.