MOVIE REVIEW: 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

It would not be hard to revisit the 2008 found-footage disaster movie Cloverfield just to recall the kind of terror it offers. Back then, with the growing popularity of the subgenre, the world has just consequently become saturated with this technique. Among the lot are the good titles like Afflicted, The Sacrement, and the V/H/S installments. Cloverfield may not be flawless of its kind but it remains a memorable monster movie through the years despite its production’s low budget. Rewatching it entails the same courage the face the unknown and deal with the realities of an apocalyptic setting.

With 10 Cloverfield Lane marketed as a “blood relative” of the 2008 film, it just seems necessary to look for similarities: the only thing that can be spilled, though, is that there is a certain vibe in the both films that lingers all throughout. Just like in the first one, tension is an important factor that drives the story of the Manhattan attack forward, but this time around, it takes a different path and presents itself as not just an ordinary follow-up. Indeed, it is an intriguing second chapter to what could be a series of Cloverfield movies in the offing. With a smart story told in a convenient fashion, no one could go wrong with this psychological thriller that exhibits the wondere of a three-character black-box theater production.

10 Cloverfield Lane tells the story of Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who, following a road accident, finds herself in an underground bunker with her leg chained to the wall. She meets his host Howard Stambler, played by the ever-gritty John Goodman, who claims that he has saved her life not just from the accident but also from an attack that has made the air above the ground intoxicated. Completing the trio is John Gallagher, Jr. who plays Howard’s neighbor Emmett, who has forced himself into the hiding place after having witnessed the attack.

The moment John Goodman’s Howard Stambler cries “Crazy is building the ark after the flood has already come,” the uncertainty about his character is yet again taken to a higher level of ‘crazy.’ Every passing moment of 10 Cloverfield Lane is an exposition of a larger scale of storytelling. However simple the conversations are, every single detail is given enough weight of attention, be it through the smooth movements of the camera or as breadcrumbs leading to a palpable destination (and conversely enjoins threading clues to comprehend the bigger picture).

As claustrophobic as the setting of 10 Cloverfield Lane are the personalities of the three characters involved in an almost whodunnit setup. Every one of them is suspecting the others, keeping in mind that nobody can be trusted and the truth is just around the corner.

Aided by Bear McCreary’s throbbing musical score, the film effectively makes use of this element to heighten the dilemma, the unsound questions and ultimately the uncertainties that the characters live by. Producer J.J. Abrams has yet again provided his audiences with an intelligent output that mirrors the wonders of the now-defunct TV series Fringe. We just have to take every little thing with open eyes and a reliable sense of concentration. 10 Cloverfield Lane smoothly delivers through director Dan Trachtenberg’s skillful hands (more commendable for a debut work). There is more to it than its short runtime has in store. And now we await another sequel or spin-off or spiritual successor or whatnot just to satisfy the craving one could get out of sitting through it.

With every moment so cleverly written to details, 10 Cloverfield Lane just leaves you wordless, breathless and, oh, so hopeless. Heart-pounding, thrilling and exciting, it knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat with all your scares screaming inside. The experience is more than satisfying as you take a look back, knowing that it is too short for a rather long journey ahead of its three characters who will everything to survive.

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE is now showing in cinemas nationwide as distributed by United International Pictures Philippines.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead held captive in ’10 Cloverfield Lane’

She’s an immensely talented actress with a gift for taking on challenging roles and bringing dynamic characters to life on screen. As she fearlessly evolves her body of work with each new project, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“A Good Day to Die Hard,” “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”) is fast becoming one of today’s leading talents across both independent and mainstream film.

Now, Winstead stars in Paramount Pictures’ sci-fi thriller “10 Cloverfield Lane,” playing a woman named Michelle who after getting into a car crash, wakes up and finds herself being held captive in a mysterious bunker. Her controlling captor is named Howard (John Goodman), who tells her that she is being held there for her own good. It’s not long before she meets another person living in the bunker: Emmitt (played by John Gallagher Jr.).

“10 Cloverfield Lane” is intentionally related the 2008 sci-fi movie “Cloverfield,” which was an apocalyptic tale about space-aliens invading Earth.

Question: “10 Cloverfield Lane” basically has only three main characters. Was that more challenging for you?

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: When you’re lucky enough to have the other two people be John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr., it’s the best opportunity ever. I just got to sit through a master class of acting, just sitting opposite them every day. I couldn’t have been luckier. I think it depends on the actors. I lucked out on this one.

Q: What was going through your mind when you first read the script?

Winstead: I didn’t expect the turns to happen whatsoever, and I certainly didn’t know where it was going and where it was leading. And selfishly, as an actor, I really wanted to play this role and go on that ride of the character. It seemed like I would be able to do a lot of fun stuff. It was really refreshing, in terms of the drama, as well.

Q: How did everyone manage to keep the film under the radar for so long?

Winstead: It was there all along, it was on IMDB. It’s the same movie, just a different title. We kept the plot under wraps as much as possible because of the nature of the film — it’s a movie you don’t want to spoil for people. I didn’t want to ruin the experience of it.

Q: Did you have to prepare for the movie, mentally or physically?

Winstead: I did do a little research for myself. I read a couple books that were written by women who were kidnapped and kept in small spaces, to understand what it would do to your psyche. Physically, I prepared as much as I could … I knew it was going to be an exhausting physical experience. I didn’t want to collapse halfway through a scene [laughs]. I prepared a little bit in that sense because ultimately, Michelle wakes up in that environment having no idea how she got there and she is unprepared to be in that scenario. So I used that to my advantage and jumped into the movie somewhat unprepared.

Q: Did you ever see the 2008 “Cloverfield” movie?

Winstead: I remember seeing it in the theater and loving it. I thought it was such an inventive new take on the monster movie. They really flipped it on its head and told it in a fresh, new personal way. So I can see how it’s connected in spirit, in terms of that.

Described as a “blood relative” to the 2008 smash hit “Cloverfield,” “10 Cloverfield Lane” stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr.

Dan Trachtenberg directs “10 Cloverfield Lane” from a screenplay by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken.

Opening across the Philippines on April 6, 2016, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

’10 Cloverfield Lane’ reveals international poster

Paramount Pictures has just revealed the stunning, international payoff poster of producer J.J. Abrams’ “10 Cloverfield Lane.”

Described as a “blood relative” to the 2007 smash hit “Cloverfield,” the new film stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr. The official synopsis only reads, “Monsters come in many forms.”

Dan Trachtenberg directs “10 Cloverfield Lane” from a screenplay by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken. Describing the film to Empire Magazine, Trachtenberg says, “It’s a mystery/suspense thriller. If we were in the time of Alfred Hitchcock, he would be calling this ‘a suspense picture’. It very much harkens back to that kind of movie. For me it’s fun, it’s funny, and it’s visceral and exciting and thrilling. It’s all of those things.”

Opening across the Philippines on April 6, 2016, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

’10 Cloverfield Lane’ eyes first Oscar nom for John Goodman

First, Hollywood bible Variety proclaimed that John Goodman’s turn in Paramount Pictures’ mystery thriller “10 Cloverfield Lane” is “The First Truly Oscar-Worthy Performance of 2016.”

(Watch the latest trailer of “10 Cloverfield Lane” below.)

The article praises, “[H]is performance is impressive for its complexity. Working from a script that ebbs and flows with ease and tension, the actor’s work is like a waltz, gliding on the narrative’s rhythms, commanding acute attention every moment he’s on screen. It’s a clinic, really, a performance as compelling in its quieter moments as it is in its explosive ones. I wouldn’t flinch if someone called it Goodman’s best work.”

Then, two days later, popular movie site Collider ranked John Goodman at No.1 in its list of “25 Great Actors Who Still Don’t Have an Oscar Nomination.” The site explained, “It’s not just the fact John Goodman has starred in so many classics (“Raising Arizona,” “Barton Fink,” “The Big Lebowski,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Argo”), it’s the fact he was a key component of so many of them. He is the living definition of an ideal supporting actor and might be in line for an honorary Oscar sooner rather than later.”

So, to repeat the title of this article, will “10 Cloverfield Lane” give John Goodman his first Academy Award nomination? Is the universe conspiring to realize this eventuality? We have to wait and see when the nominations are announced on January 2017.

In the meantime, let’s read the actor’s thoughts on the film that could bring him Oscar glory.

Question: Your character in “10 Cloverfield Lane” could be considered an evil villain. Do you find it more satisfying as an actor to play someone of dubious morality?

John Goodman: You get more lines. The flip side of that is that you have more lines to memorize. And at my advanced age, you know. But John [Gallagher Jr.] and Mary Elizabeth [Winstead] were very patient with me, and I had an excellent director.

Q: A lot of movie trailers give away the plot of the entire movie, but that obviously wasn’t the case with “10 Cloverfield Lane.” Since most of the movies produced by J.J. Abrams have a lot of secrecy about them, at what point in the production process was it decided that it would be so secretive? And what kinds of things did you have to do to keep things secret? Did you have to sign confidentiality agreements or have watermarked scripts?

Goodman: [He says jokingly] We only get the rewrites on toilet paper, and it would slowly come to light in a microwave. The unfortunate thing was when we had to eat the script.

Q: What was going through your mind when you first read the script for “10 Cloverfield Lane”?

Goodman: [He says jokingly] Just another day at home. [He says seriously] It was different. That’s the first thing that hit me. It was different from anything I’d read before. It was interesting. It was a page-turner, which is always a good sign. It’s like reading a good book. You want to see what’s going to happen next.

Q: Did you ever see the 2008 “Cloverfield” movie?

Goodman: I’m going to go see it.

Q: What can you say about the production design of the bunker?

Goodman: I just want to thank them for all the books they put in the library, because when I had down time, I’d read the books and put them back. I got through “The Catcher in the Rye” and I think “Farewell to Arms.”

Described as a “blood relative” to the 2007 smash hit “Cloverfield,” “10 Cloverfield Lane” stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr. So far, the official synopsis only reads, “Monsters come in many forms.”

Dan Trachtenberg directs “10 Cloverfield Lane” from a screenplay by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken.

Opening across the Philippines on April 6, 2016, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

J.J. Abrams awakens ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ as unofficial sequel

While he was directing, producing and co-writing a little film called “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” J.J. Abrams still found some time left over to produce Paramount Pictures’ new suspense thriller “10 Cloverfield Lane,” an “unofficial” sequel to the 2007 found-footage hit “Cloverfield” which he also produced.

Described as a mere “blood relative” to “Cloverfield,” the new film “10 Cloverfield Lane” stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr. The film’s official synopsis only reads, “Monsters come in many forms.” Dan Trachtenberg directs “10 Cloverfield Lane” from a screenplay by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken.

Q: In what aspects is “10 Cloverfield Lane” a “blood-relative” to “Cloverfield?”

J.J. Abrams: Well, there are a number of connections, some obvious, some not. Things that I want people to sort of find on their own. Some are thematic, some are genre. But what defines a Cloverfield movie is part of a kind of bigger idea we had. This is sort of part anthology and part a larger idea. And the fun of having a movie that is connected to Cloverfield, but not a literal “Cloverfield 2,” which is of course what we would have called it had it been a literal sequel. It would have been a more obviously titled sequel. This is something that hopefully if we get a shot to continue this idea that we have, we can have a lot of fun with and come clearer what constitutes a Cloverfield movie.

Q: Even though this film isn’t shot in found-footage style like “Cloverfield,” it feels, there’s a lot of moments in it that you get the same POV feeling that “Cloverfield” had. Is that one of the connections? Is that something that you’re gonna bring on hopefully to other movies?

Abrams: I think that because the premise of this movie is so strong, meaning it is so singular in point of view, I feel like one of the many cool things that Dan did was allowed the audience to vicariously experience moment to moment what Michelle is going through. And part because Mary Elizabeth Winstead is so good. And that is there’s no strategy behind that other than I think Dan telling a story very well.

Q: How did you find Dan Trachtenberg? This is a big movie to give to a first time director.

Abrams: Lindsey Weber who produced “10 Cloverfield Lane” with me knew Dan beforehand. When we were searching for the director, she brought him in. What I was mostly impressed by was the clarity and strength of his vision for how he would do this movie. He had a confidence that I think is apparent in the film. A strong sense of tension and focus and he did this really beautiful work with the actors, with the camera, with modulation. I think that the tension of the movie, it’s not just creepy and scary, but there’s a great sense of tension to the movie that I think is really all about what Dan brought to it. So I would credit Lindsey for finding him and credit Dan for what the movie is.

Q: During the making of this film, you were off filming “The Force Awakens.” How involved were you in “10 Cloverfield Lane?”

Abrams: Well, I was involved in the script stage. I was involved in what dailies sending in, notes or suggestions or trying to help whenever I could be of help to Dan and Lindsey who was on set all the time. In post I was like more involved in helping wherever Dan needed it. But again, this was something that really was Dan’s vision and I was just trying to do what a producer does, which is help out.

Q: You are not showing much of the film, marketing-wise. How does that work? Do you have a contract with the studios to have control over the marketing?

Abrams: I can only speak for our experience with Bad Robot and the marketing department, the films we worked on. And what’s been great is there’s a relationship we have the marketing departments that feel like it’s about mutual understanding and respect and strategy. And we get together very early on to discuss how we’re gonna approach what I think it is. Obviously it’s a hugely important thing, how you announce and reveal and hopefully pique interest in a story. And we made a very specific decision early on to not announce this movie a year in advance, six months in advance. We thought let’s break the template and try something new. In an age of people knowing most everything about every stage of the prep, production, post and release of a movie. And the fun of saying here comes a movie. It will be in theaters in two months. Or three months. Not give people much time to conclude to pass judgment on a movie that they could already feel that they know everything about. But rather have some fun with a movie that I think is a fun movie worth having fun with and then surprise the audience.

Opening across the Philippines on April 6, 2016, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

’10 Cloverfield Lane’ opens big in North America with $25.2-M

Paramount Pictures’ and Bad Robot’s new mystery thriller “10 Cloverfield Lane” connected with American audiences in its opening weekend March 11 to 13, earning a whopping $25.2 million from 3,391 locations.

That’s a strong debut considering that the film about a woman (Mary Elizabeth Winsteavd) who finds herself trapped in a doomsday bunker, waiting out the apocalypse with the neighborhood survivalists (John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr.), cost only $13 million to produce.

Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore credited Bad Robot chief J.J. Abrams with coming up with the concept for the twisty thriller while he was in production on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” He said the key was to make sure that none of the advertisements revealed any of the film’s surprises.

“We wanted to give people just enough clues to keep them excited, interested, and wanting more,” said Moore. “That’s rare in this day and age, when so much [information] is given out so early.”

“10 Cloverfield Lane” also benefitted from positive word-of-mouth and rave reviews, averaging a high 90% score in reviews-aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes. The critics’ consenses was: “Smart, solidly crafted, and palpably tense, `10 Cloverfield Lane’ makes the most of its confined setting and outstanding cast — and suggests a new frontier for franchise filmmaking.”

Described as a “blood relative” to the 2007 smash hit “Cloverfield,” the new film stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr. So far, the official synopsis only reads, “Monsters come in many forms.”

Dan Trachtenberg directs “10 Cloverfield Lane” from a screenplay by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken.

Opening across the Philippines on April 6, 2016, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

WATCH: ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ thrills with new clip

Brand-new images and a new clip from Paramount Pictures and producer J.J. Abrams’ “10 Cloverfield Lane” have just been released. Check out the photos below and view the clip below.

Described as a “blood relative” to the 2007 smash hit “Cloverfield,” the new film stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr. So far, the official synopsis only reads, “Monsters come in many forms.”

Dan Trachtenberg directs “10 Cloverfield Lane” from a screenplay by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken. Trachtenberg explains to Empire Magazine how the new film became a “blood relative” to “Cloverfield”:

“’Cloverfield’ was a familiar genre that was told in a very unique way. Similarly, we are a familiar genre that’s also told in a unique way. It’s not the same way: the first ‘Cloverfield’ had that awesome hook of being told in this found-footage experience. We have something else going for us that makes it unique. I think our structure’s very interesting and there’s things in it that you have to experience.”

Opening across the Philippines on April 6, 2016, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

’10 Cloverfield Lane’ TV spot goes outside the cellar

Universal Pictures has launched a new TV spot for producer J.J. Abrams’ “10 Cloverfield Lane,” the mystery thriller that’s been described by Abrams as a “blood relative” to the 2008 hit “Cloverfield.” The spot may be viewed below.

The film stars John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr., and so far the official synopsis only reads, “Monsters come in many forms.”

The new spot shows that, after surviving a car accident, a woman wakes up in an underground cellar. She fears she has been abducted by a survivalist, who tells her he saved her life, and that “it is not safe out there.” Uncertain what to believe, she decides she must escape, no matter what dangers she may face outside.

“10 Cloverfield Lane” surprised everyone and set the internet on fire when it uploaded its first look last January. A teaser showed Goodman, Winstead and Gallagher Jr. in a normal suburban household until a mysterious “something” disturbs the peace.

The marketing campaign for 2008’s “Cloverfield,” also produced by Abrams, was similarly secretive.

Dan Trachtenberg directs “10 Cloverfield Lane” from a screenplay by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken.

Opening across the Philippines on April 6, 2016, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.