By Faith Haushona-Kavamba
AT first glance, 10 Cloverfield Lane presents itself as a sadistic thriller in which the villain tries to pawn himself off as the protagonist in the film.
However towards the end of the movie, it takes on a whole new genre, creating two movies in one. The film is an intricate and seamlessly woven combination of a thriller and science fiction.
The movie (directed by Dan Trachtenberg and produced by J.J Abrahams), follows young Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), an aspiring fashion designer, who decides to leave New Orleans by way of rural Louisiana following an argument with her fiancé Ben (voiced by Bradley Cooper).
After an accident, she wakes up in a bunker, on a drip and in a knee brace, but handcuffed to a water pipe. She soon meets Howard Stambler (John Goodman), a survivalist who claims to have rescued her in the wreckage and informs her that the world as she knows it has come to an end following an alien invasion.
She soon finds that she is not the only one who has been rescued by Stambler, after she meets Emmett DeWitt (John Gallagher Jr).
Based on the fact that Stambler refuses to let them out of the bunker, has erratic mood swings and they hear cars over-head the bunker, the two conclude that their rescuer has merely abducted them for his own sadistic purposes.
The bulk of the movie follows the duo attempt to outsmart the survivalist in their confined bunker in a bid to find a way to escape what has now become a dystopian world of Stambler’s making.
Trachtenberg is faultless in his directing as he allows the viewers to become embedded in the storyline, as they too are carried through the motions with the characters of having to decide whether Stambler is really an antagonist or a protagonist. His bipolar/multi-personality character traits him make him unpredictable and fascinating to observe.
Having already produced the 2008 movie Cloverfield, it easy for one to jump to the conclusion that Abrahams has been uninventive in the sequel and the title alone is a spoiler for what to expect in the new movie, however that is not the case.
What seemed to be a thriller, soon takes on the life of an apocalyptic dystopian film, however it leans more to the soft science fiction genre as not much of the alien life forms are engaged until the last 15 minutes or so of the film.
It is evident earlier on that Winstead and Gallagher’s characters initially view themselves as being in a paranoid fiction, in which their reality is being manipulated by Stambler, and while he proves he is the antagonist in the movie, it is also revealed that he was also the protagonist to a certain degree with the revelation that the aliens have invaded earth.
10 Cloverfield Lane ensures that the viewer is constantly on their edge of their seats in a race against time. Surprisingly, Trachtenberg makes use of four actors (with the voice of Cooper) however manages to create a more spellbinding movie unlike some others in its genre.
Another one of its selling points is the fact that the director created an intense ambiance of suspense, never once giving a hint of what is to come, only that there was a plot twist that made it enjoyable to watch.
Either way, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a must watch and one will surely not be disappointed by the unlikely marrying of thriller and sci-fi.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015