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Movie Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane... Frighteningly Funny!

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 11/03/2016 Carole Mallory
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Don't miss 10 Cloverfield Lane! Great acting, directing, writing, editing, cinematography and sound that make you jump out of your seat in terror in the opening minutes. A car crash. The driver, Michelle who is played by a talented Mary Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), awakens chained to a bed in a sealed cement chamber, a prison. Why? Where is she? Soon John Goodman, aka Mr. Weirdo named Howard, introduces himself and informs Mary that he has saved her life. He claims there is a chemical attack by aliens outside of his doomsday bunker. Michelle's expression indicates she does not believe him. She wants out. Though she is handcuffed to a pipe, she manages to escape and whittles a knife like wooden weapon out of a pole. When Howard enters with her food much as a prison guard would feed his prisoner, Michelle strikes a blow to Howard's head. It is still early on in film so you know he will escape. Enter John Gallagher (Short Term 12) as Emmett who is also a prisoner but who claims he is a volunteer. He broke his arm while forcing Howard to allow him to enter Howard's subterranean bunker. He confirms Howard's story and Michelle remains baffled as to the truth and so will you. Is there a chemical attack in the outside world or had Howard abducted Michelle for his sexual pleasure? You have to stick around until the end to discover the truth and some sticking this will require.
10 Cloverfield Lane is one scary movie. The excellence of its production values make it riveting entertainment. And the dialogue written by Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken and Damien Chazelle is often witty at the most macabre moments. Goodman's expertise. He shines. But so does Winstead, a modern day Terminator-ette. She is refreshing and a relative unknown which only adds to the spookiness as this could happen one day to you, an unknown.
But it is the direction of Dan Trachtenberg (Portal: No Escape) that deserves kudos. He keeps the pace of the film on high and does not skip a beat. When games like monopoly and a dated juke box keep these prisoners until they becomes volunteers, a great sound track of rock n roll and period music get you almost out of your seat dancing to the rhythm. After all this is in IMAX and the sound that accompanies this magnificent technology.
But it is the mystery and horror of this thriller, 10 Cloverfield Lane, that will captivate you. It is a sequel to the original Cloverfield from 2007 that was a great success but this bizarre thriller will top that and then some. And a special thanks to producer JJ Abrams (Star Wars VII, Super Eight) for keeping up the pressure. The sets are fantastic as the doomsday bunker is an apartment resplendent with a homey, sit-com, lived in "all the better to rape you in" environment. As you wonder throughout film, "Will Howard molest Michelle or is he being fatherly as his daughter died and her possessions are all over the bunker." When Howard admonishes Michelle and Emmett for not using coasters on his antique cocktail table, the audience roars. Sinister is 10 Cloverfield Lane's mantra. It is moments like this that relieve the tension, but only temporarily.
Catch 10 Cloverfield Lane if you can! But don't go alone.
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