When numerous films share a similar universe the idea can take on a number of different guises. For example, Spy Kids and Machete occur in the same fictional sphere of reality, but could not be more separate in terms of tone - one being a hyper-violent, soft porn / B - Movie pastiche, and the other being Spy Kids. On the other hand, Tarantino has employed the concept as more of a narrative device, intrinsically linking his characters together through time, space, and blood, and essentially creating a colossal network of causality that split off from our own long ago.

10 Cloverfield Lane never makes explicit reference to its game-changing namesake, save for a brief nod towards the end of the film and a shared production company. So gone are the hand-held aesthetics, the towering monster, and the shoehorned in romance, replaced here by paranoia, claustrophobia, and a perpetually frowning John Goodman.

Residing at the other end of the carnage scale to its predecessor, 10 Cloverfield Lane takes the maximalist horror and destruction of Cloverfield, before condensing it all down into a single bunker. The monster is now in the same room as our protagonists, cooking them dinner as opposed to knocking down their tower block.

Lizzy Caplan's Michelle wakes up in a bunker after a car crash, chained to a bed by a man who tells her that the outside world is no longer safe, and that there has been a large-scale attack on the country. This however, is but a sketch of the film's detailed portrait, one that skilfully touches on ideas such as urban and rural tensions, gender politics, and the reliability of authority. It is a sequel/prequel in the sense that both films possibly feature a common villain, but less so in every other dimension

Dark, tense, and enigmatic up to the very last frame, the debut proper of Dan Trachtenberg deftly balances elements of mystery, horror, family drama, and science fiction, whilst drawing three excellent performances from his actors, and all the while maintaining an immaculate pace. Think of it as spinning plates upon spinning plates and you'll get an idea of just how surprisingly good a film 10 Cloverfield Lane really is.

The film potentially operates in the same universe as Cloverfield, but takes a vastly different approach to the idea of extraterrestrial horror, claiming instead that aliens would be the least of our worries in this scenario. So perhaps it's all a marketing ploy, and the name is simply a gimmick to entice an otherwise reluctant audience into seeing something not with the suffix 'Dawn of Justice' this week. But having said that, maybe this is indeed a continuation of the attack we witnessed back in Matt Reeves' film, and upon repeated viewings, and with attention to detail, it all may become clear. However this is trivial, and in all honesty doesn't matter much, because 10 Cloverfield Lane stands strong as both its own film and then again as a spiritual successor, something not many films of its kind achieve.