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(L-R) John Goodman as Howard, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Michelle, and John Gallagher Jr. as Emmett in "10 Cloverfield Lane." Photo: Paramount Pictures
(L-R) John Goodman as Howard, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Michelle, and John Gallagher Jr. as Emmett in “10 Cloverfield Lane.” Photo: Paramount Pictures

By Megan Bianco

Eight years ago, J.J. Abrams produced the disaster movie Cloverfield and helped resurrect the shaky cam, found-footage horror technique to epic proportions, setting a new standard for viral marketing. Quickly growing a cult following and paving the way for films like Chronicle (2012), the hit movie had found its place in pop culture. But then, out of nowhere, Abrams not only announces a new Cloverfield feature, but also drops a full teaser only two months before release. Titled 10 Cloverfield Lane, the new picture is surprisingly brilliant and heart-racing.

After leaving her boyfriend to start over and in the middle of a national power outage, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is sideswiped by another car, crashing off road. When she awakens, she finds her leg sprained and she’s resting in a bed in an underground bunker. Her “rescuer,” Howard (John Goodman), claims he saved her and that the air is now too polluted to go outside.

From what can be gathered in articles and interviews, the Cloverfield franchise is more of a shared universe with different characters and stories rather than direct continuity in plot and leads. With that in mind, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a great theater experience just like the first movie was, but with its own tone, direction and narrative. Goodman and Winstead are superb, and director Dan Trachtenberg debuts a standout effort with a unique, crazy twist. For fans of original suspense-thrillers and not a fan of shaky cameras like the 2008 movie, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a must-see.

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