’10 Cloverfield Lane’ – Review
By Lynn Sorel
Rating: 9 out of 10
Synopsis: After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack.
Our Thoughts: ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ is exactly what J.J. Abrams said it is – a “spiritual successor” to 2008’s ‘Cloverfield.’ It is not a direct sequel, and the story picks up in a different state where, aside from it taking place in the same universe, the only obvious direct tie to the other film is the location name, which includes the word ‘Cloverfield.’
The story centers on Michelle, who was in a car accident and wakes up injured and held against her will in an underground shelter by a man named Howard, who claims that the U.S. was attacked. He claims that she can’t leave because the air outside toxic and they will die, just as everyone else had. To Michelle, Howard is an insane doomsday prepper who has kidnapped her. However, the viewer knows that Howard is right in some way, since this is a ‘Cloverfield’ film, after all.
Another man named Emmett is also in the shelter, whom she learns fought to get inside after he saw the supposed attack. It isn’t until she tries to escape, when a woman who is clearly suffering from the toxic air is trying to get in, that she finally believes them. She settles in, realizing that there has in fact been some kind of attack. Things are OK for a little while, as the three adjust to living together in the bunker.
Soon, Michelle stumbles comes across Howard’s dark secret. She tells Emmett and the two plot their escape. The final third of the film is especially intense, and we finally see what is happening outside. There is room left for future films and the series could go in a variety of directions now.
If you are expecting ‘Cloverfield 2,’ you might be disappointed. This film is excellent, but very different than the original. Fans of the first may or may not like it. However, I think a lot of those who did not like the first will enjoy it. This is not a found footage film as the first was. It is also much heavier on the drama than the first, which was more focused on the creature-focused action. Both films had impressive character development, but this film took it to a whole new level. I have never seen John Goodman be so creepy as he is in the role of Howard in this film and it may be his best work yet. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is amazing as always in her role as Michelle, and John Gallagher Jr. is memorable as the regretful Emmett.
’10 Cloverfield Lane’ is one of the most suspenseful films I’ve seen in quite a long time. The story sucks you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat, waiting to see what terrors lie above, and it definitely does not disappoint. My only complaint is that I would have liked to see more of those very terrors. However, this is not that kind of film. Instead, it shows you that the danger right next to you, the danger from other humans, is almost as grave as those awaiting outside your bunker in a post-apocalyptic world. Horror, sci-fi and drama fans alike will not want to miss ’10 Cloverfield Lane.’