10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
After a car accident in the middle of nowhere, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) finds herself trapped in an underground shelter with 2 men she doesn’t know. One of the men, Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), is around her age and seems friendly, but Howard (John Goodman), the older man, isn’t to be trusted. Not only does he have a short fuse, but nothing he says seems to make sense. He claims that a chemical attack occurred on the surface and the 3 must remain underground for at least a year or two, but without knowing the truth, Michelle and Emmett must decide if breaking out of the bunker is worth the risk.
With a title that seems like it could have ties the 2008 film Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a story set in the same world as Cloverfield without having a true direct connection. Most of the movie plays out in the confines of the bunker with paranoia and suspense bathing every scene. No one knows what is really going on. Is Howard a kidnapper? Is he telling the truth? Should Michelle run for it? Is Howard going to kill them eventually? These are all valid concerns throughout the whole movie and it will keep you biting your nails from beginning to end.
The true star of this movie is John Goodman. In a role that reminds me a lot of Kathy Bates from Misery, he plays a man who is socially awkward, believes he is doing good, and in 100% control. He believes that he is saving the lives of his 2 younger bunker mates, but in reality, he is overbearing and powerful. He has rules that the other 2 must follow to the letter, and he even has assigned bathroom time for Michelle and Emmett because the toilet is in Howard’s room. You know Howard isn’t to be trusted from the moment Michelle awakes in the bunker, but you aren’t sure why, and that is what makes this movie so gripping and entertaining.
The only negative thing I have to say about the movie is the last 15 minutes. Without giving away spoilers, I believe that the ending should have been the beginning of a 2nd installment of this story. I think the movie should have ended with the resolution in the bunker and left the rest for another time. I felt the ending was rushed and not believable, especially since everything in the bunker seemed real and something that could actually happen. It is a minor complaint, but enough to make the movie feel a little strange towards the end. Otherwise, John Goodman makes this one of the best suspense movies in a long while. Can’t wait to see more!
8/10 Stars – 10 Cloverfield Lane is suspenseful, gripping and full of paranoia which is created nicely thanks to a brilliant job from John Goodman!