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10 Cloverfield Lane

Shrouded in mystery, filmed in near secrecy and announced just last month, 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE packs a punch telling a monster story connected in interesting ways to 2008's "Cloverfield".

I'm not going to say anything here to give away any spoilers. Fans of the first film (count me among them) are best to approach this movie as a stand alone and let the pieces connect on their own.

The film opens with Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) packing up and moving out from her boyfriend (that voice on the phone IS Bradley Cooper by the way) and hitting the road in a hurry.

Stopping for gas, she sees news reports of power outages up and down the east coast and strange happenings in the atmosphere. Buried in her own emotional turmoil, she hits the road again, where she is involved in a massive accident.

She wakes up shackled to a bed in a large underground cellar, belonging to Howard (John Goodman) a rural survivalist who keeps talking about the attack above ground and the fact that he saved her life just in time.

Howard's neighbor Emmett is also in the cellar, hurt but thankful that Howard let him into his underground safety zone, because he also saw some major events happening above ground.

From there, I won't be saying anything more.

The story pivots on these three characters. Who are they? What are their true motivations?

What HAS happened above ground?

Producer JJ Abrams has found a talented filmmaker in first time director Dan Trachtenberg. The suspense never lets up and a simple story becomes more and more intriguing as it goes.

Goodman is never better than when he plays a big personality, and he's wrangled one here in Howard. I spent most of the film trying to decide if Howard was a bad man or a good one.

Emmitt is nicely played by John Gallagher Jr, who we saw a couple times on Broadway as Moritz in "Spring Awakening". He is a talented actor and does plenty with the role.

Abrams has said that he sees a potential CLOVERFIELD series of films and entertainment projects under the same kind of umbrella as "The Twilight Zone", with stories connected in style, if not with direct bloodlines.

If they continue with the entertainment value and fun of the first two, keep 'em coming JJ.

As the poster says, "Monsters Come In Many Forms".

Indeed they do.

Suspenseful, fast and full of surprises, 10 Cloverfield Lane gets a B.

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