10 Cloverfield Lane HD Digital Ultraviolet UV Code
The Power Of Mystery
By Zachary Koenig on March 12, 2016
A lot of times (too many times, really), viewers know everything about a film before they even take their seats in the theater. Trailers, promotional material, internet chatter or what you have, the standard film-advertising philosophy now is to show as much as possible to let viewers know exactly what they are getting and can expect. "10 Cloverfield Lane" breaks all those rules and is the better for it. Filmed almost entirely in secret at Bad Robot productions, a trailer didn't drop for the film until a scant 4-5 weeks before it premiered. Even that trailer didn't give away a cent of the plot. Because of this secrecy, "10 Cloverfield Lane" is able to do something that other films cannot (or will not): allow the mystery to unfold.
For a basic plot summary, this film opens with Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) fleeing her boyfriend due to some sort of relationship trouble. Her car is hit, she blacks out, and the next thing she knows is that she is waking up in some sort of bunker chained to the wall. She quickly discovers that she was pulled from the car wreck by Howard (John Goodman), a survivalist who has built a shelter meant to withstand any apocalyptic event. He tells her that the world is in chaos above ground due to some sort of attack (he cannot give exact details about who or what), and that line of reasoning seems to be confirmed by certain events that transpire and the word of Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), the other bunker-mate. But is it really as simple as that? Is Howard truly the benefactor he seems to be?
This is one of those films that can't be discussed too much more, because it so deeply relies on the mystery that spoilers can be deadly. Suffice it to say, though, that it truly is a gem in pretty much every aspect. The plot is full of twists, the atmosphere is legitimately tension-filled, and the acting is top-notch all around. It has been quite some time since I've been to a film where I've become that sucked into the events transpiring, but again that is because I was a completely blank slate going in. After the first 15-20 minutes of the experience, I had absolutely no clue what would happen next, and that is one of my favorite types of movie-watching experiences. J.J. Abrams' "Mystery Box" is alive and well in this one!
Of course, one can't review "10 Cloverfield Lane" without commenting on its lineage with "Cloverfield". It's actually pretty simple: this one isn't a direct sequel (it's not like it picks right up where "Cloverfield" left off or anything like that), but it does take place in the same "universe", if you will, of that original film. Kind of an anthology sort of thing, where different stories can be told in the context of one over-arching narrative. While completely different in style from "Cloverfield", this "10 Cloverfield Lane" is just as compelling in telling a unique story.
Overall, I was thoroughly engaged by "10 Cloverfield Lane" from the opening credits to the closing ones. I hope that more films in the future can follow this type of approach and take a more cagey approach to marketing. Sure, this film has great acting, atmosphere, and story, but it really "works" because of that sheer power of the mystery. Since you don't know what will happen, the film-making is given free reign to toy with your emotions, making for a powerful cinematic experience.