While the world was completely distracted by Star Wars and its force-enhanced shininess, J.J. Abrams secretly produced a Cloverfield spin-off that stars John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. I’m in simply because I like all of the sneakiness involved with the film. Well, that and I just think it looks like an entertaining time.
10 Cloverfield Lane is sort of what I expected it to be, and then totally not at all what I figured it would be. The former refers to the film’s general premise. Michelle (played nicely by Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes up after a car crash to find that she’s alive (hooray!) but chained to a wall (oh no!). After some back and forth with her captor (or savior?) Howard (played imposingly by John Goodman), she’s also told that the US has been wiped out by some kind of attack (mega bummer!) and that she can’t leave the underground bunker she’s currently being held (or housed?) in (the pain just won’t stop!). The rest of the film is an intense, wildly entertaining ride that centers around Michelle and her efforts to find out the truth about her situation. It’s truly great stuff that’s so engrossing it’s easy to forget that the movie is tied to Cloverfield. However, it is legit tied to Cloverfield, and that’s the part that didn’t quite end up how I figured. The film is very much its own contained entry until a particular twist comes along, and then when that twist comes along it’s a total “OHHH” kind of thing. Like the rest of 10 Cloverfield Lane, this part is intense and entertaining, and I found it to be a clever way to not only enhance the film, but to show the potential of a shared Cloverfield universe.
See 10 Cloverfield Lane because it’s a stellar thriller, but also go if you’d like a touch more Cloverfield in your life.
One Last Thought:
I really love the idea of a bunch of different genres of films all existing inside one shared universe. That makes them connected, but only loosely. So, nerds can pick out bits of lore, but norm-ies won’t be the wiser and will be able to fully enjoy whichever entry they’re watching. It’s an interesting concept, and I hope that Abrams and his gang can keep it going.