Thursday, March 10, 2016

Movie Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

The movie opens in the South, and Michelle (scream queen Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is making a radical life change, where the possibilities are as open as the road. That is, until she wakes up in an underground bunker, chained to a wall, with cuts and bruises and a leg injury. 

Doomsday survivalist Howard (the always great John Goodman) has told her she was in a car accident, he has saved her, and she ought to try being a bit more grateful. His candor is chilling and Goodman's Howard is matter-of-fact.

He also told her there was a chemical attack, everyone is dead, and she should just stay put. With him. In this bunker. And get used to it until the air clears. For a few years. It's claustrophobic and you will be breathing jerkily along with Michelle. Settle in. You're stuck underground, so please try to cohabitate peacefully. 

Michelle is astounded to find another man in the bunker with her, Emmet (John Gallagher, Jr) a man who actually helped Howard build the bunker, fought to get in, and quite sure there is an attack of some sort from somewhere. Aliens? Terrorists? The subways monsters from Cloverfield?

I guess they all had just better get along? This movie was as terrifying for the watcher as it was for Michelle. It’s loud. Things make her (and us jump) or, it’s deathly silent. Wait, is that a car we hear? No? Yes? But it's such a cozy family! It's tense. Winstead's character gives the impression of being unsure of her existence, attempting to make a stand for herself in this world but not always succeeding. 

What is going on?! She doesn’t want to become complacent (as Howard tells her she had better learn how to and love to cook) and settle into life underground, because was there an attack outside?  She feels perhaps escape is the best option, and of course, Howard keeps the keys to the outside bunker door firmly attached to his person at all times.

Gallagher's Emmet is a breath of fresh (recycled and filtrated) air as he candidly explains the world around him and the world he came from with candor and an easy-going attitude. Until things get not-so-easygoing.

10 Cloverfield Lane is not the sequel. So much to discover...

The suspense is terrifying, and it will horrify you. Plot twists and turns will keep you as confused as Michelle is. With the excellent directorial debut of Dan Trachtenberg, comes the way of many monsters in many forms. The film was written by Josh Campbell, Matthew Stucken, and Damien Chazelle, and opened March 11, 2016. Bradley Cooper is even in here somewhere.

10 Cloverfield Lane is produced by J.J. Abrams and he knows what you want this to be, and how you think this movie will play out.

You have no idea. 

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