Tuesday, 12 April 2016

10 Cloverfield Lane ... Tension below

BEAR McCreary's music is one reason to watch horror drama 10 Cloverfield Lane,
directed by Dan Trachtenberg. His stirring violin music hightens the tension in the bunker between Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Emmett (John Gallagher Jr) and paranoid farmhouse owner-cum-former Navy satellite operator Howard (John Goodman).

   Michelle's bravery and resourcefulness remind me of Nicole Kidman's character in Dead Calm and Rachel McAdams's in Red Eye. All three women are put under extreme duress, but all three rise to the occasion and make the best of their situations.
   The film's strength is in the uncertainty about what's happening outside the bunker. Gargantuan and imposing Emmett says he's keeping Michelle and Emmett in it for their own safety as there was a nuclear or chemical attack on the US.
  Naturally, there's no way of finding out what's happening outside, and Michelle tries to disprove Emmett's statements.
   She's a fashion designer fleeing a marriage after an argument, therefore, her skills will be put to
(From left) Goodman, Winstead and Gallagher Jr.
eat up the scenery.
great use later. She hears on the radio of a blackout affecting a huge swathe of the east coast but her car is then hit.  
    She wakes up in the bunker, and her adventures in finding out what's happening takes up most of the film.
    The three of them form an unusual relationship. Michelle's McGyver-like quality is shown when she, despite being tied down, attempts to retrieve her phone. She shows the right amount of fear,
cunningness and desire to find out the situation outside.
   Emmett says he helped to build the bunker and that he fought to get in it. He exhibits a lackadaisical style that works well with his easygoing attitude. He tells Michelle that he regrets not taking up an athletic scholarship to go to university when young.
    The star of the film is undoubtedly Howard, who looms over everyone and everything. The bunker is decorated in a 1980ish style, and the jukebox music is also a few decades old. He's a choleric with huge amounts of anger, but deep down, he just wants to create a family unit.
Michelle seeks to piece together the puzzle
about what's happening to her.
   The communication between the trio is a joy to watch, and the chilling music adds to the suspenseful and claustrophobic atmosphere. I was caught up in the drama and just when I thought I had the whole thing figured out, the film pulls the rug from under my feet.

3½ out of 5 stars


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