Cinematic Releases: 10 Cloverfield Lane

10 Cloverfield Lane hits theaters tonight. Read our review. Don't be scared. 

You broke Scott Pilgrim's heart.
It's into the barrel for you, babe. 
From out of nowhere comes a tension laced, claustrophobic science fiction thriller that exists in the same universe as the found footage film, Cloverfield. 

This 'blood relative' is not an actual sequel to the original but another movie that pits characters against an unknown force. Yet, this time the shaky cam style has been abandoned for a more straightforward style that's reminiscent of many of the best genre entries we've ever seen. With shades of The Thing, The Divide, and other films where the premise involves being trapped by some mysterious evil, 10 Cloverfield Lane takes the first cinematic quarter of 2016 and ups the ante with a film that will have constant repeat value while viewers try to find hidden clues and easter eggs.

Kicking the film off with a heart thumping score that never lets up, the music in 10 Cloverfield Lane is just as important a character as any of the three leads. With that said, John Goodman gives one of the best performances of his career. Playing it up every second he's on screen, his portrayal as Howard is as solid as it gets. He's off kilter, intuitively insane, perversely strange and always on cue as an antagonist ready to mentally break at any moment. Seething with paranoia and a threatening physical presence, Goodman carries his role with ease. Backed by a newly invigorated Mary Elizabeth Winstead taking her role in full stride and the everyman type talent of John Gallagher Jr., this trio has a dynamic flair that has the dramatic feel of a perfectly rendered stage play transposed to the silver screen.

Oh crap! Dan from Roseanne is about to start
dancing. Everyone clear the hell out. 
Unlike the first Cloverfield, audiences are transitioned to a tighter space that gives a much better, more fluid angle on the story at hand. With a long steady, exterior shot at the beginning, viewers will immediately be reminded of a classic shot from The Shining as other little bits and pieces pay small tributes to many other movies that fall into the same creative realm as the Cloverfield universe. Hinging on just enough exposition, tons of shrouded mystery, a unique interior set, and a well written script, 10 Cloverfield Lane is an artistic gem that almost anyone with an interest in entertainment can thoroughly enjoy.

Honestly, I didn't know what to expect going into this. With so little notice and a meager yet mystical marketing campaign that just kicked off a few months ago, this could ultimately turn into a sleeper hit with a long running cult following. Taking a new approach to what already existed with this franchise will probably do wonders for Cloverfield and any other chapters they may add to this universe. This is a smart movie with excellent visuals, a great soundtrack and score, an amazing cast, and a gripping story that will satiate your needs for horror and science fiction at the same time. I don't usually gloat about movies, but with 10 Cloverfield Lane I feel totally fine doing so.

If you liked the first, this one will blow you away. Literally.

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