WARNING CONTAINS SPOILERS! Recently I saw 10 Cloverfield Lane. The film has been described as a spiritual successor to 2008’s hit monster/horror movie Cloverfield. Most people remember getting motion sickness from Cloverfield’s shaky-cam rather being entertained. Luckily the 2016 successor film is not found footage and the camerawork won’t make you motion-sick either.
The film almost entirely set in an underground bunker somewhere in Louisiana built by crazed prepper and conspiracy theorist Howard (John Goodman). The United States have been subjected to a mysterious attack and the survivors must pull together in Howard’s bunker if they are to survive. He shares the bunker with protagonist Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) a second survivor also taken in by Howard. All three characters are well rounded and you get a good sense of each of their motivations and fears.
Michelle is by far the most developed character and the one viewers will sympathize with the most. She is headstrong and intelligent, refusing to be subjected to the dangerous Howard. Emmett is an another survivor let in by Howard after the mysterious attack, he provides the movie’s comic relief but is also a sympathetic character. He’s a failed athlete from his hometown who Howard hired to help build his bunker, when the attack happened Howard was one of the few people who knew of its existence and got to it in time. Howard is by far the most interesting of the characters. According to Emmett he is a believer in crazy conspiracy theories ranging from topics on North Korea to aliens. Howard is first presented as a crazed kidnapper as viewers have no idea whether or not an actual attack took place or not. When it becomes clear that Howard did in fact save Emmetts and Michelles lives by letting them stay in his bunker he becomes more sympathetic, especially after he opens up to Michelle about his daughter Megan. However, Michelle and Emmett soon discover that Howard is not all that he seems after finding evidence that links him to a mysterious disappearance of a high school girl a few years ago. When Michelle and Emmett decide that Howard is a threat and must be eliminated the movie goes from a slow and steady pace to a heart pounding thriller in a second.
Overall the film is one of the better thrillers that has come out in recent years in my opinion. The setting, the mystery surrounding the nature of the attack, the possibility that Howard is not all that he seems all add up to a terrifying and suspenseful experience. I recommend it to all of my readers.