The Young Gal who lives at 10 Cloverfield Lane
10 Cloverfield Lane
A look back at Cloverfield
As we discussed in our review of J.J. Abrams 2008’s monster film, Cloverfield, this film is ostensibly about some extraordinary event about which we (initially) know little about. In that film New York City was attacked by a giant monster that trashed the place real good. So now we are (apparently) entering the next phase of whatever is happening (more later).
Cloverfield on DVD
Five young New Yorkers throw their friend a going-away party the night that a monster the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city. Told from the point of view of their video camera, the film is a document of their attempt to survive the most surreal, horrifying event of their lives.
A New Story
As this film opens, a young woman, Michelle (Winstead), is walking out on her fiancé following an argument they had. Michelle then sets off on the road driving through rural Louisiana on her way to someplace else. Unfortunately, during her drive, she is suddenly and violently struck by another vehicle which sends her careening off the road into a ditch. When she eventually wakes to discover that she’s locked in a cellar with a doomsday prepper named Howard (Goodman). Howard — who comes across as slightly menacing — insists that he saved her life and that the world outside is uninhabitable following an apocalyptic catastrophe. For her part, Michelle is uncertain as to what to believe, she soon determines that she must escape at any cost.
More than just a Sequel
"While we are still not entirely sure that this is a direct sequel (at least in the traditional sense), it does, however seem to be set in the same universe..."
10 Cloverfield Lane
Not Quite what We've Seen Before
Also stuck in the bunker is Emmett (Gallagher) who has a bum arm which he claims he acquired when he was attempting to get into the bunker. Still leery about the situation, Michelle and the two men set up house and attempt to settle in, only Howard’s paranoia never quite diminish and really begins to creep Michelle out as parts of Howard’s story simply don’t seem to mesh. Unfortunately, to tell more of the set-up and/or going-ons of the film would be to reveal too much of what viewers can expect to see, which will totally spoil what actually does come to pass.
A Very Disconcerting Picture
Suffice it to say that the visuals (Howard, Michelle, and Emmett) going about feigned normalcy (eating, watching videos, reading, doing jig-saw puzzles), coupled with the soundtrack (up-beat, bubblegum pop music from the ‘60s) paint a very disconcerting picture of a family going about a normal day, only the fact that they are clearly in a bunker and who-knows what is going on outside gives a very weird feeling to the setting. Then as the movie progresses the action becomes more (squirm-inducing) intense as we approach the drama’s culmination.
A Quiet Evening at Home
Not Quite a Sequel
We can tell you this: While we are still not entirely sure that this is a direct sequel (at least in the traditional sense), it does, however seem to be set in the same universe, and what is occurring in this film could very well be a part of what was occurring in that one. The tension here is palatable, rising with each interaction occurring on the screen, as we are inexorably dragged towards the film’s inevitable conclusion.
Is it Safe?
A better Film than Cloverfield
Unlike Cloverfield, this film is not shot as “found footage” film (about which we have had issues with whenever we have seen, and of which we never been a fan), so that is certainly a plus in the film’s favor. The claustrophobic nature of the confined space of the bunker, combined with tight camera shots increases the anxiety of the film. This is really a well-made film, part sci-fi, part horror, part thriller. It tells a coherent story of a young abductee who is unsure if her situation is that of a rescue or a captive, and neither are we. Is Howard really crazy or just wicked prepared. Is he lonely and longing for his missing wife and daughter, or is he some kind of psycho? All these questions and more will be answered when you go see 10 Cloverfield Lane.