Fresh on 4K: ’10 CLOVERFIELD LANE’ – a locked-room thriller with the looks to kill

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Connor Bynum // Film Critic

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE (2016)

Rated PG-13, 103 minutes.
Director: Dan Trachtenberg
Cast: Mary Elizabeth WinsteadJohn Gallagher Jr. and John Goodman
Available today on 4K Ultra HD.

Coinciding with the ten-year anniversary of 2008’s CLOVERFIELD (our 4K review), its loosely connected successor, 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE, also makes its way onto 4K UHD Blu-ray. Rather than being another found footage movie, 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE has its own unique film format for the better.

Movie Grade: B+

Apart from being such a massive shift in style from its predecessor, 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE may not necessarily be a sequel. Apparently taking place around seven years after the events of the first film, one would think that being skeptical at the idea of an alien invasion would be thing of the past if these two stories were in fact related.

The story focuses on a young woman named Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who wakes up in a mysterious bunker owned by an even more mysterious man named Howard (John Goodman). Howard claims she was in a car accident and he saved her moments before the country was attacked by… something. With the air contaminated in the outside world, Howard says they must remain underground until it’s safe. Michelle must then decide whether or not Howard is telling the truth or if there was even an attack at all. What follows is a gripping thriller that will keep you guessing right to the end.

Dan Trachtenberg, center, talking with actors John Goodman, right, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead on the set of ’10 CLOVERFIELD LANE.’ Courtesy Photo.

Video/ Audio Grade: B+

Upscaled from a 2K digital intermediate, 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE still looks very good in 4K. Finer details like textures on the walls of the bunker and the hairs in Howard’s beard benefit nicely from the added resolution. Stitching in Michelle’s clothing and the shine of her plastic hazmat suit also stand out. The computer-generated effects in the final act are mostly well done, but are somewhat muddled in the darker shots.

The Dolby Vision HDR is a very nice addition as well. Taking place almost entirely in one location, the added color depth helps to keep the scenes from blending together. Michelle’s room has a warmer pink tone on its walls, the living room has a mostly desaturated blue tone, and Howard’s room is a warmer muted brown.

The Dolby Atmos audio track is exceptional. The deep rumblings of the world above the bunker mixed with Bear McCreary’s pulse-pounding score create a wonderful sense of tension while other scenes of pin dropping silence are equally suspenseful.

Extras Grade: B

As usual, there are no new extras for this release and they are all found on the included standard Blu-ray disc.

  • Commentary by director Dan Trachtenberg and producer J.J. Abrams
  • Cloverfield Too (9:10, HD)
  • Bunker Mentality (3:50, HD)
  • Duck and Cover (1:40, HD)
  • Spin-Off (3:50, HD)
  • Kelvin Optical (6:10, HD)
  • Fine Tuned (6:40, HD)
  • End of Story (3:20, HD)

Final Grade: B+

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE, frankly, makes much more sense as an addition to the 4K UHD library than its found-footage older cousin, as its increased resolution and color depth don’t distract from the authenticity of the story. While not a native 4K release, this film certainly gets the job done.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.