(This review contains spoilers. Please read at your own discretion)
J.J. Abrams is a genius. He took the concept of Cloverfield (a movie I love) and is making it into its own self contained universe. When first viewing 10 Cloverfield it’s hard not to wonder if the movie is a sequel because most audience members are expecting to see one but that’s not quite what we get at first.
The movie begins with Michelle, Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character, leaving her home. The last shot we get as she is leaving is of her keys and an engagement ring left on a counter top. We find out she’s left her bf/fiancé Ben and is headed to see family. Those plans change when Michelle is involved in a bad car accident and wakes up in a bunker, hooked up to an IV with her knee in a brace, handcuffed to a pipe. Enter Howard, John Goodman stealing the show while being extremely creepy, telling Michelle no one is looking for her and he’s being kind by helping her out.
Howard is a Navy vet and huge conspiracy theorist whose conspiracies are more truer than not. Also there is Emmett, Peter Gallagher jr, who helped build and fought to get into the bunker. Michelle attempts to escape because she doesn’t believe Howard when he tells her the air is contaminated and there’s some kind of takeover going on from a country overseas or aliens. Of course she thinks he is nuts and manages to get away from Howard with his keys and gets to the front door of the bunker. But when she gets there a women whose face looks like it’s being slowly eaten away and is breathing shallowly, begs to be let in. It’s at this point, Michelle realizes there might be some truth to what Howard has been saying.
She returns to the bunker and everything is going well for awhile until Michelle discovers a dark secret about Howard and his alleged daughter. These new turn of events causes her to devise another escape plan with Emmett. Eventually Michelle escapes only to discover that the air outside is breathable but aliens have attacked the Earth. Boom! There you have it; this part may have thrown people off a little because up until the final 10 – 15 minutes, viewers were treated to an extremely well directed, tension filled thriller. Director Dan Trachtenberg did an amazing job of keeping the tension built throughout the movie, as well as the cast, because most of it took place in that bunker. So, it’s understandable that audiences may have been shocked, especially those who thought this to be a Cloverfield sequel. But, I believe this is closely related to Cloverfield and cleverly tied in, here’s why:
A few times throughout the movie, the fact that Howard worked on satellites for the Navy is brought up. He also tells Michelle and Emmett that he has some chemicals that were used on the satellites but is highly corrosive to human skin. The aliens were spraying this strange green mist at Michelle but she had on a homemade gas mask and didn’t breathe it in. I believe this green mist is the same thing that was sprayed on the woman earlier in the film trying to get in the bunker and that mist was eating away at her body inside and out, like a corrosive material the body was being subjected to. In the movie Cloverfield, at the end when we see the camera footage of the couple at Coney Island, you will see faintly in the distance while Rob is filming the water what looks to be a satellite falling into the ocean or is it the monster? Either way something fell out of space and into the water which was not done by accident considering how difficult it is to see it occur in the first place.
Norman firmly believes that aliens exist and is sure they would make contact eventually. The monster in Cloverfield was never classified as anything from Earth and the little creatures that fell off of it were infecting whoever they bit; some disease that burned up their insides because anyone who was infected immediately got a high fever and the military had to kill. Also, in the beginning of 10 Cloverfield Lane, a news report was talking about blackouts up and down the eastern seaboard. In Cloverfield, all the power was out in the city and there were reports of it reaching further. Not once in Cloverfield did the military give detailed information on what was going on and no one in the media had any clue either. They did name ground zero of the attack Cloverfield and the name of the farm where Howard’s bunker was located was named 10 Cloverfield.
Based on these details I have to believe 10 Cloverfield Lane is a Cloverfield side story directly related to the events of the first movie. I imagine what takes place in 10 Cloverfield Lane is happening a couple of days after the events of Cloverfield. J.J. Abrams doesn’t do anything by accident in his films, whether directed or produced and I believe this was cleverly calculated. Either way, this movie was well directed and well acted and I’m going out on a limb to say John Goodman’s performance was Oscar-worthy. It was haunting how he came off as protective, caring and really creepy at the same time. You know something’s wrong with him but at the same time you’re not sure, it was nothing less than stellar.
What do you think about 10 Cloverfield Lane and do you believe it is related to Cloverfield? Leave a comment and let’s talk about it!