’10 Cloverfield Lane’ adds to Abrams’ mystery box

10 Cloverfield Lane is another wonderful surprise from J.J. Abrams’ mystery box.

For those not in the know, the mystery box is how Abrams likes to think of anything he works on, whether as a director or even as a producer. His goal is every one of the projects he has a hand in will be a wonderful mystery to those that experience it.

10 Cloverfield Lane wasn’t even announced until little over two months ago. While it is refreshing that some people can keep secrets in our technologically connected society, it is also troublesome that the movie didn’t receive more time to grab people’s attention before release. Still, in the span of one weekend, 10 Cloverfield Lane made $25 million, to cover its $15 million budget.

The best part of this movie was the tension between the characters, who find themselves trapped underground after a mysterious attack of some kind. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr. star as the three leads of the film and each delivered fantastic performances.

Goodman is especially convincing, as a paranoid conspiracy theorist, whose preparation allows the three to escape the chaos of the outside world.

The trailers for the film built mystery for what is outside the bunker and while it is revealed in the movie, director Dan Trachtenberg (Portal: No Escape short film) takes his time to reveal the big bad.

Instead of going the same route of the original Cloverfield, with a monster who chases the cast through the film, he instead focuses on the characters. This was a good choice because it made 10 Cloverfield Lane a very different film than the found footage original.

Many people are curious about how the two Cloverfield films are related and for good reason. The big question is whether or not the monster of mysterious origin from the original film would return for the second installment. The answer is no. The film is more or less an indirect sequel, comparative to how your cousin is not your brother but you are still related.

With another sleeper hit coming from producer J.J. Abrams and first time feature film director Dan Trachtenberg, the future for cinema looks bright. In today’s cinema landscape, where moviegoers know almost every plot beat due to set pictures, script leaks and over exposed trailers (Batman v. Superman cough cough), it is refreshing to know that a movie can still hold a few secrets upon its release.


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