10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
10 Cloverfield Lane made the news for its supposedly brilliant marketing strategy, linking it to the completely different found footage horror film Cloverfield. But for me, it wasn’t the rather mediocre original that sparked my interest, but the tense, claustrophobic trailer. It’s pretty great, huh?
Perhaps J.J. Abrams was worried not everyone would sign up for 100 minutes of chamber play drama set in a bunker, but it’s the fantastic, nuanced acting of the three main characters, the nostalgic score, and the level of detail of the bunker that make 10 Cloverfield Lane so scary and unnerving. John Goodman, above all, is most convincing as the overly zealous prepper, moving seamlessly between creepy and sympathetic. Mary Elizabeth Winstead does a great job as well, as the movie’s vulnerable, yet inventive heroine.
That said, if you think the trailer gives away too much, you are in for a surprise. The film’s best asset is that you never know what to expect, only that you can expect something. Not much else should be revealed here — 10 Cloverfield Lane is best when you know as little as possible — but let me praise it by saying that it’s Take Shelter, Hidden, and Signs rolled up into one sweet, exhilarating movie experience.