Last night I went to a screening for 10 Cloverfield Lane. I was overly excited to see this film since it’s trailer release just a few short months ago. As a huge fan of Cloverfield, I was eager to see how the story would continue. So, did it live up to everything I had hoped?
Sort of. The film itself is really good. It’s suspenseful, thrilling, scary at times, and there’s some humor in a way that feels organic. It takes you on a ride with the main character Michelle from beginning to end. You know what she knows and you question what she questions. It’s a great formula that allows the viewer to be as unaware and shocked as Michelle.
The movie starts out meeting our main character in a very dialogue-free first few minutes. She is frantically packing, not because of an invasion of any kind but because she’s left her fiance, as we see an engagement ring left behind. She drives out of the city where we hear on the radio that there have been power outages along the eastern seaboard. She stops for gas where we see a Slusho neon sign in sight. You may be familiar with this company from Cloverfield. You can also assume the power outages are a result of the events in the first film, although it is never fully explained.
After Michelle continues her drive, a truck appears in her mirror and speeds past her. The two collide sending her car into a tumble. She wakes in a concrete room with a head injury and her leg in a brace, which is locked to a pipe. She attempts to use her cell, but there’s no service. It seems to her that she’s been abducted and held captive. As an older man, Howard, enters the room she begs to be let go. Howard informs her that the world has essentially ended and that there’s nowhere to go.
She’s weary of this man for good reason. He sounds completely crazy, only saying there has been some sort of attack and the air is toxic. Emmett, who had helped to build the bunker, is also there after witnessing an explosion unlike anything he’s seen. The two of them form a slight bond and begin to confide in one another as Howard’s secrets begin to unravel and Michelle will not accept that everyone is dead.
I don’t want to ruin anything because I think the suspense of this film is what really drives your interest. It’s a slow film with moments of unease scattered throughout. The actors in this film really did a fantastic job. Mary Elizabeth Winstead was wonderful at being fearful but using her natural survival instincts. Perhaps the most surprising performance was John Goodman, who plays such a terrifying character. The whole film they’re worried about what’s happening above them, when Howard is the one they should be most afraid of. The tagline for this film is “monsters come in many forms” and they truly do. His portrayal was beyond exceptional as his emotions range from happy to downright scary in a flash. He was an unpredictable character that was so well written I couldn’t find a flaw.
As far as this being a sequel to Cloverfield, which this could be classified as a spoiler, I’d have to say it’s not. There are those subtle hints, as I mentioned above, but when we do see what’s above ground, it’s not our beloved monster from the first. We don’t learn much but we do hear that there apparently are different locations of attacks.
The only thing that bothers me about this, since we were sort of warned this wasn’t a direct sequel, is what’s the purpose of the Cloverfield tag. Is this the same time as the first film? If there is a third will it continue the story line for this film or will it be completely new too? And what the heck happened to Rob and Beth?!