By Will Barber Taylor
Soon after leaving her fiancé, Michelle is involved in a car accident. She awakens to find herself sharing an underground bunker with Howard and Emmett. Has she been saved from an apocalyptical event as Howard & Emmett tell her or are there other motives for her being held against her will?
10 Cloverfield Lane, unlike Cloverfield is not a traditional horror film. In fact, it isn’t a horror film at all – nor does it quite fit into the science fiction genre in the same way Cloverfield did. Instead the film presents a complex and multi-layered look at how we are all trapped by our pasts in some way. Each of the main characters is trapped – both psychically and mentally and it is their attempts, one way or another to escape their entrapment that leads to the film’s main conflict.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead is brilliant as Michelle and presents a complex and thoroughly empathetic main character. It is her determination and resourcefulness that lie at the heart of the action. The tensest scenes revolve around her conflict with John Goodman’s Howard. Goodman makes the manic Howard both sympathetic and deeply unpleasant something difficult for any actor. However, Goodman pulls it off and the tension arising from his manipulative and controlling nature moves the film along.
Overall, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a spellbinding and fascinating film that wows its audience by its diversity, complexity and ultimately its strong message about self-empowerment.