10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

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A young woman awakens after crashing her car to find herself trapped in an underground bunker with a man who claims that the world above has suffered an apocalyptic attack.

10 Cloverfield Lane is a spin off from J.J. Abrams’ found footage creature feature of 2008 in which a huge alien devastates Manhattan, but this film has far more in common with Gareth Edwards’ debut Monsters in that it is a story that may have sci-fi overtones but is more concerned with the characters than special effects and action histrionics. Mary Elizabeth Winstead makes an engaging, courageous and independent heroine but it is John Goodman who commands the screen with an excellent performance that keeps you guessing as to whether he is saviour or psychopath. It’s difficult to summarise the story without giving too much away but it has an old school vibe that reminded me of the likes of Day Of The Dead and The Andromeda Strain which both also featured dysfunctional characters thrown together in isolation and desperation; it mostly resembles the section of Spielberg’s War Of The Worlds that featured Tim Robbins’ burnt out survivalist however.

Part sci-fi, part tense psychological thriller and part survival horror, 10 Cloverfield Lane will appeal to fans of any and all of the above and in my opinion, is far superior to the one idea monster movie that preceded it.

7/10

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