I think we’re alone now
When I first saw Cloverfield I remember thoroughly enjoying the film. It was fast paced, used the handheld camera to convey the horror the characters experienced rather than forcing the viewer to become horrified, and little did we know, lay extremely vague footsteps for J.J. Abrams to (potentially) create his own Bad Robot anthology series. 10 Cloverfield Lane is not the sequel to Cloverfield, nor is it a prequel. The only similarity the film bears is in the tile, and that leads to an ambitious little film – tight, unnerving and led by an excellent three-hander of actors committing to make something different.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead is Michelle, a woman who has walked out on a relationship of unknown problems and into a car bound for disaster. She wakes up in the doomsday dungeon of one apocalypse-spinning John Goodman, playing his character Howard with such gusto, straddling the line between psychotic and vulnerable with ease. John Gallagher Jr’s Emmett is an uncertain element, believing the horror stories of Howard’s apocalypse.
What follows is a twisting and churning sea of plot revelations and deceptions as characters move from trust to fear with the motives of the others, leaving the viewer up in the air as to the true story of what has happened outside, and why there are inside. Was there really a nuclear/chemical explosion? Perhaps it was the monster from Cloverfield and the aftermath of the attack? Or maybe all is well, Michelle and Emmett trapped in a Room style abuse story of an unhinged giant scheming to play happy families.
Director Dan Trachtenberg has made a stunning opening debut with 10 Cloverfield Lane, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his name soon attached to a film in the MCU or the expanding Star Wars film catalogue. Needless to say I very much enjoyed 10, from the stellar acting to the Roswell-New-Mexico levels of extraterrestrial paranoia Howard spins in the minds of the viewer.