10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) - Dan Trachtenberg

Today I am going to review the "spiritual" sequel to J.J. Abrams viral hit Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane. The first movie was a titan of viral marketing success. However, it seemed that they had missed the window of interest with this latest outing. It did alright in the theaters but could have done much better. Some people that I had talked with hadn't even seen or remembered the original. That shows that it's been way too long since the last one. To help draw interest, the film-makers cast cinema veteran John Goodman and indie darling Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the starring roles. Which ended up being a good move. They do a fantastic job. 

Michelle is involved in a car accident and wakes up in a strange underground bunker in some unknown place. To make things weirder, in the bunker are two guys Howard and Emmett. They inform her that she was saved from some "biological attack" and she cannot leave as the world above is still toxic. Can they all get along and live out their days in this bunker? Can Michelle trust Emmett and Howard? 

There are some pretty interesting thing about this movie that make it scary. The unknown being the biggest draw for fear. You really had no idea what to expect going into this movie. You had no idea what to expect from the characters. The setting. The location. Anything! The first film was a "found-footage" Kaiju picture with some really great elements. This movie was a departure from that almost completely. The hand-held feel is gone. It's more professional. There is a narrative to follow. That makes it all the more sinister. 

In some areas this movie really succeeds. It has a really dark cloud overhead but it lightens up with some comedy. It would get more points from me if it weren't a movie in the Cloverfield universe. It doesn't need to be. It's a shame that they had waited so long for this to come out. I think that the delay really hurt the films potential. But, I like it for what it is. A suspenseful snapshot of life during an Alien invasion. 

Release date:

March 11, 2016


Dan Trachtenberg

Box office:

108.3 million


15 million 


J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk


John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr.


Bad Robot Productions

Did ya know:

The film's life began as a script called "The Cellar" (which had nothing to do with the Cloverfield universe, and was at one time also known as "Valencia"). The script was acquired by J.J. Abrams' production company Bad Robot and adapted to become "10 Cloverfield Lane".