Wednesday, 23 March 2016

REVIEW - 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE (DAN TRACHTENBERG)


The marketing for 10 Cloverfield Lane was designed with the express intention of manipulating the audience's expectations, based upon their perceptions of this film's predecessor, 2008's Cloverfield. That's all very well until the lights go down and the eyes go up on this new beast, but were your expectations that it'd operate in much the same way as the marketing, only on its own terms? 10 Cloverfield Lane is a most manipulative film, but in a fun and, crucially rewarding manner, and its manipulations are largely self-contained, for the first two acts or so. It posits suggestions that may or may not harbour meanings, asks questions that may or may not go answered, floats ideas which it sees to fruition, though of what nature is consistently uncertain. With smart, incisive character building from both actors and screenwriters, 10 Cloverfield Lane convinces you to care about the route it takes to dissipating the tension - a route that necessitates an inevitable escalation of that tension. Director Dan Trachtenberg toys with sound effects and focus ranges for intensification, but the premier source of atmosphere comes from the basic premise of these three figures, varyingly volatile, trustworthy and mysterious, inhabiting the same sealed space. Yes, there's mystery to this film, in spite of its aforementioned predecessor - it's resolved to keep you guessing about so much, to turn the tables at a moment's notice, or to leave them unturned just as you thought you'd worked it out, that you can't help but wonder where its eventual destination will be. It's easy to malign the film's final act, then, so indebted to common conventions, but it's the only logical conclusion to this franchise's story, and to this film's.