10 Cloverfield Lane
10 Cloverfield Lane is a 2016 American psychological horror-thriller film directed by Dan Trachtenberg in his directorial debut, produced by J. J. Abrams and Lindsey Weber and written by Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken and Damien Chazelle. The film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, and John Gallagher Jr. It is the second installment in the Cloverfield franchise. The story follows a young woman who, after a car crash, wakes up in an underground bunker with two men who insist that an event has left the surface of Earth uninhabitable.
|10 Cloverfield Lane|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dan Trachtenberg|
|Music by||Bear McCreary|
|Edited by||Stefan Grube|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$110.2 million|
The film was developed from a script titled The Cellar, but under production by Bad Robot, it was turned into a spiritual successor to the 2008 film Cloverfield. It is presented in a third-person narrative, in contrast to its predecessor's found-footage style. Principal photography took place under the title Valencia in New Orleans, Louisiana from October 20 to December 15, 2014.
10 Cloverfield Lane premiered in New York City on March 8, 2016 and was released in select countries on March 10. It was released in the United States on March 11, 2016, in both conventional and IMAX formats. The film received positive reviews, with many praising the performances of the cast, as well as the film's tense and suspenseful atmosphere; it grossed $110 million worldwide.
After breaking up with her boyfriend Ben, Michelle packs up and leaves New Orleans. While driving through rural Louisiana late at night, she hears car radio news reports of blackouts in several major cities before her red Volkswagen Bora is abruptly sideswiped by a truck and rolls off the road, knocking her unconscious.
Michelle wakes in a locked room within an underground bunker below a farmhouse very far outside of Lake Charles, her wounds tended to. She is frightened as a man steps into the room and introduces himself as Howard. He tells her that he is the bunker's owner. He then explains that he brought her there for her protection, claiming that the air outside has been poisoned by a massive nuclear or chemical fallout from an unknown force. Michelle is initially hostile towards Howard, but once she has calmed down, Howard takes her on a tour of the well-stocked bunker, and she meets Emmett, another survivor who found his way to it. Howard takes her to the viewport of the bunker's exit hatch, showing her two dead pigs outside as evidence of the fallout; Michelle also sees Howard's truck, and recognizes it from the accident. Michelle privately relays her concerns about Howard's motivations to Emmett.
During their first dinner together, Michelle secretly takes Howard's keys and makes her way to the hatch, but as she is about to open it, a woman with skin lesions, named Leslie, appears outside and begs to be let in. Eventually, she begins to violently slam against the window demanding that the door be opened in an increasingly aggressive tone, then collapses. Michelle then openly returns the keys and agrees that Howard was right. Howard admits to accidentally hitting her car in his panic to get to the shelter.
While the trio's relationship becomes more relaxed, Howard still shows intolerance towards Emmett and treats Michelle as a little girl; however, Howard opens up about his daughter, who he states is "not with us anymore". Howard enlists Michelle to fix the air filtration unit when it fails since she is small enough to fit through the vents; while repairing it, she finds a locked skylight, with the word "HELP" scratched into its glass and visible to anyone outside. Further suspicious of Howard, Michelle and Emmett discover that Howard's purported daughter was a young girl who had gone missing about two years earlier, and they suspect he abducted her to the bunker. They make plans to escape the bunker, creating a makeshift hazmat suit behind Howard's back. When Howard discovers tools and parts missing, he accuses the two of stealing them, threatening to immerse them in a barrel of perchloric acid. Emmett quickly takes responsibility of stealing the materials. He explains that he was building a weapon so that Michelle would respect him. Howard suddenly pulls out a gun and kills Emmett with it. He then tries to comfort Michelle, telling her that he killed Emmett to protect her. In shock, Michelle is desperately making final preparations to leave when she is surprised by Howard. She manages to escape from him with the suit. En route, she knocks over the acid barrel, which starts an electrical fire in the bunker. It later explodes, killing Howard.
Michelle dons the suit and escapes the burning bunker onto Howard's homestead. Seeing signs of living wildlife, she takes off the suit's helmet, but then she suddenly sees a giant biomechanical alien spacecraft, drawn by the bunker explosion. A quadrupedal creature drops from the craft and chases Michelle, forcing her to hide in a shed. She then races towards the farmhouse, but the craft appears and emits a green gas that forces Michelle back into the suit. Her delay allows mechanical appendages from the ship to capture her, but she is able to craft a Molotov cocktail from items in Howard's truck to throw into the ship. The fireball destroys the ship causing it to crash and the appendage drops her; after recovering she is able to take the dead woman's car and escape.
As she nears the Texas border she hears radio chatter instructing any survivors to head to Baton Rouge to evacuate, but also requesting the help of anyone with medical or combat training in Houston. At a crossroad, she pauses a moment before driving off towards Houston. In the distance, two larger alien craft can be seen in the sky.
- John Goodman as Howard Stambler
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Michelle
- John Gallagher Jr. as Emmett DeWitt
- Douglas M. Griffin as Driver
- Suzanne Cryer as Leslie
- Bradley Cooper as Ben (voice)
- Sumalee Montano as Voice on Radio (voice)
- Frank Mottek as Radio Broadcaster (voice)
- Kayla Bechor as Paper Girl (uncredited)
10 Cloverfield Lane originated from an "ultra low budget" spec script penned by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken, titled The Cellar. The Tracking Board included the script in "The Hit List" of 2012 – an annually published list of spec scripts written within the year that have impressed its voting members. In 2012, Paramount Pictures bought the script and commenced further development under Bad Robot Productions for Insurge Pictures, Paramount's specialty label for films with a micro-budget. When Bad Robot became involved, the film was assigned the codename Valencia to keep exact details of the production a secret.
Damien Chazelle was brought in to rewrite Campbell and Stuecken's draft and direct the film. Chazelle dropped out from directing when his Whiplash project received funding. On April 3, 2014, it was reported production for Valencia was greenlit to begin in the fall of 2014, under the direction of Dan Trachtenberg with the latest draft being written by an uncredited Daniel Casey. A budget of about $5 million was reported to be expected, in keeping with the mandate of Paramount's Insurge division of producing micro-budgeted films.
On July 8, 2014, Variety reported John Goodman was in negotiations to star in the film. On August 25, 2014, they reported Mary Elizabeth Winstead had entered negotiations, and on September 22, 2014, John Gallagher Jr. reportedly joined the cast.
During production, the filmmakers noticed core similarities to Cloverfield, and decided to make the picture what Abrams calls "a blood relative" or "spiritual successor" of that film. "The spirit of it, the genre of it, the heart of it, the fear factor, the comedy factor, the weirdness factor, there were so many elements that felt like the DNA of this story were of the same place that Cloverfield was born out of," said Abrams. In other interviews he explained: "Those characters and that monster [from Cloverfield] are not in this movie, but there are other characters and other monsters," and "This movie is very purposefully not called Cloverfield 2, because it's not Cloverfield 2, [...] So if you're approaching it as a literal sequel, you'll be surprised to see what this movie is. But while it's not what you might expect from a movie that has the name Cloverfield in it, I think you'll find that you'll understand the connection when you see the whole thing." Winstead and Gallagher mentioned that during production they were aware that the film had thematic similarities to Cloverfield, but did not learn that there would be an official connection until they were informed of the chosen title, only a few days before the release of the trailer. Abrams came up with the title after finishing Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
In a March 2015 interview, a few months after production wrapped, Winstead was asked about her experience during Valencia and described it as a "really contained film", reiterating the premise of The Cellar about a woman being trapped with her mysterious savior in a supposed post-nuclear fallout world. Later in the month, Insurge Pictures was reported to have been dismantled and its staff absorbed by its parent company. Insurge's only film that had yet to be released was reported to be Valencia. Speaking of rewrites that took place during production, Winstead called them "nothing that was major".
During an interview with Abrams to promote 10 Cloverfield Lane, he said the creative team behind the original had some ideas on developing Cloverfield 2, but the release of films such as Godzilla and Pacific Rim led them to abandon them as they found the concept of kaiju films played out.
Principal photography on the film began on October 20, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Filming took place in chronological order on only one set. Scenes involving explosions, fire, and smoke were shot in early December 2014 in Hahnville, Louisiana. Filming ended on December 15, 2014.
Bear McCreary composed the music for the film. The soundtrack was digitally released on March 11, 2016.
The film's title was revealed on January 15, 2016 in a trailer attached to 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. As with Cloverfield, a viral marketing campaign was used that included elements of an alternate reality game. Bad Robot kick-started the campaign in early February 2016 by updating the Tagruato.jp website used for the original film. The campaign revealed backstory information about the character Howard Stambler and his daughter.
The film was released in select countries on March 10, 2016, in regular and IMAX theaters, before its official release in North America on March 11, also in conventional and IMAX theaters. Those who attended screenings of the film at AMC IMAX theaters were eligible to receive collectible movie posters, which illustrated the three main characters separately. The film was rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for "thematic material including frightening sequences of threat with some violence, and brief language".
In the United States and Canada, the film made $1.8 million from its Thursday night previews at 2,500 theaters, and $8 million on its first day (including Thursday previews). In its opening weekend, it earned $24.7 million, finishing in second place at the box office behind Zootopia ($51.3 million), which was in its second weekend.
Outside North America, 10 Cloverfield Lane received a staggered release, across 54 countries. It earned $1.5 million in its opening weekend from six international markets with a bulk of it coming from Australia ($1 million). Overall, the top openings were in the United Kingdom and Ireland ($2.2 million), South Korea ($1.7 million), and France ($1.4 million).
10 Cloverfield Lane received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 90% based on 300 reviews, with a weighted average score of 7.49/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Smart, solidly crafted, and palpably tense, 10 Cloverfield Lane makes the most of its confined setting and outstanding cast—and suggests a new frontier for franchise filmmaking." Metacritic gives the film a score of 76 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A+ to F scale.
Bill Zwecker of the Chicago Sun-Times gave 10 Cloverfield Lane four stars out of four, commending the film as "continually gripping and extremely engrossing ... [Dan Trachtenberg] helmed this film with artistry, imagination and skillful precision." Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times praised the cast's performance and Jeff Cutter's cinematography, while writing: "Sneakily tweaking our fears of terrorism, '10 Cloverfield Lane,' though no more than a kissing cousin to its namesake, is smartly chilling and finally spectacular. A sequel is virtually a given." Alan Scherstuhl of the Village Voice also praised the acting and technical aspects, but wrote that the film "is less compelling in terms of character and meaning."
In a mixed review for Slant, Chuck Bowen found a lack of character development between the three leads, and labeled the film's ending as anticlimactic. Bowen also writes: "The film hits its expositional narrative marks and nothing else ... 10 Cloverfield Lane will almost immediately evaporate from the mind, before J.J. Abrams commences in selling you the same thing all over again." Soren Andersen of the Seattle Times, who gave 10 Cloverfield Lane one and half stars out of four, similarly criticized the film's ending, labeling it as "full-bore" and "Too little. Too late." James Verniere of the Boston Herald disapproved of the characters and pacing, and he ultimately described the film as "a crummy, low-rent, intellectually bereft thriller."
|Bram Stoker Awards||Superior Achievement in a Screenplay||Josh Campbell, Damien Chazelle and Matthew Stuecken||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Awards||Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie||10 Cloverfield Lane||Nominated|
|Directors Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Directing – First-Time Feature Film||Dan Trachtenberg||Nominated|
|Empire Awards||Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy||10 Cloverfield Lane||Nominated|
|Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Best Film||10 Cloverfield Lane||Nominated|
|Best Actor||John Goodman||Won|
|Golden Tomato Awards||Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie 2016||10 Cloverfield Lane||2nd Place|
|Hollywood Music in Media Awards||Best Original Score – Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film||Bear McCreary||Nominated|
|IndieWire Critics Poll||Best Supporting Actor||John Goodman||10th Place|
|Saturn Awards||Best Thriller Film||10 Cloverfield Lane||Won|
|Best Actress||Mary Elizabeth Winstead||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor||John Goodman||Won|
|Best Editing||Stefan Grube||Nominated|
|St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association||Best Horror/Science-Fiction Film||10 Cloverfield Lane||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Drama||10 Cloverfield Lane||Nominated|
Having originally planned the film as a direct sequel to Cloverfield, Abrams suggested that he had thought of something which, if they were lucky enough to get it made, "could be really cool [insofar as it] connects some stories" in a third film, even teasing a larger Cloverfield universe. Interviews with Trachtenberg and Winstead confirm that the movie is, and always was intended to be, an expansion of the first film, with Trachtenberg calling it the "Cloververse". Winstead has voiced her interest in returning for another installment.
In October 2016, it was revealed that the Abrams-produced God Particle would be the third installment in the Cloverfield franchise. After several postponements of the film's release date, it was released as a Netflix Original on February 4, 2018, under the new title The Cloverfield Paradox.
In The Cloverfield Paradox, Donal Logue cameos as Mark Stambler, a conspiracy theorist discussing the "Cloverfield Paradox"; reviewers observed that the character shares the same surname as Howard Stambler in 10 Cloverfield Lane. Suzanne Cryer, who appeared as Leslie in 10 Cloverfield Lane, also appears in a brief cameo role as a newscaster who interviews Stambler.
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