I’m sorry, but no one’s looking for you.
A young woman wakes up in the basement of a man who claims he saved her life after pulling her from her overturned car which violently crashed along the highway. The man states that the world above them is no longer safe and is now a danger zone that threatens the rest of humanity. With no knowledge of what actually lies above and trust running thin between them, the woman questions what’s true and what’s not. Is the man a delusional psychotic that has a more sinister agenda for her? Or is it really hell on earth above ground like he swears?
I think that, at this point in the game, I don’t have to really spend a lot of time explaining the development of the film that eventually became 10 Cloverfield Lane. Many other reviews and websites have done a fantastic job of doing that, as well as going through the associated viral marketing and ARG that was also used in the original Cloverfield movie. Having watched it on the big screen the same weekend it was released, though (as opposed to watching it when it eventually shows up at the second-run theater, as I had planned), all I’m going to do is explain my initial thoughts on the movie, and do so in a manner that (hopefully) won’t spoil anything, so you can go into watching this as fresh as you possibly can. Which means I’m going to have to reign myself in a bit. Here goes nothing.
So, going into 10 Cloverfield Lane the Saturday afternoon it was released, all I knew about it was 1) it was described as a “blood relative” to the original Cloverfield by J. J. Abrams, and not a direct sequel, and 2) the movie takes place mostly in an underground survival bunker with three people, where one may or may not be insane, one is definitely there against her will, and there may or may not have been some kind of attack on the surface. I wasn’t exactly expecting the Cloverfield monster, but the preview did an outstanding job of building up tension and NOT spoiling anything about the movie. Imagine that.
After thinking about the movie for a bit, I’m going to have to throw in with the others who have watched 10 Cloverfield Lane and found themselves enjoying it far more than they thought they would. I was surprised to learn that this was actually Dan Trachtenberg’s first shot at making a movie, as it was a tight, very taunt psychological thriller with a very thick feel of a Twilight Zone episode if directed by Alfred Hitchcock. All of the cast play off each other perfectly, with John Goodman portrayal of a survivalist really keeping you off balance the entire time. I can’t really go into it without spoiling things a bit, but…let’s just say that, to the question of “Is he insane, or is he just in shock due to being right?”, I will have to answer “yes”.
One question that I’ve been asked while talking about the movie with co-workers and general associates was, does 10 Cloverfield Lane really tie in to the first film? Well…yes, in a certain way. There were maybe one or two bits that I picked up, tucked away in the background, that I managed to pick out. But, ultimately, even if you go into this not knowing anything about Cloverfield, or even the whole “Clover-verse” that Abrams is now giddy about building, 10 Cloverfield Lane holds up solidly as its own movie. Mind you, the ending might hork you off, but if you think about it, it does make a bit of sense. But, overall, I highly recommend watching this movie.