Thoughts on 10 Cloverfield Lane
I found myself catching a 1 pm showing of “10 Cloverfield Lane” on release day a rare occurrence. Now I have to admit I only went to see the film because of John Godman. I saw the original on cable some years ago and while utilizing the found footage style wasn’t horrible. My biggest grip is the introduction of static in the film even though it was on a sd card. Now part of the reason I love Goodman is his regular over the top eccentric characters for his roles in “The Big Lebowski” and “Monsters Inc”. The premise is simple a girl “Michelle” gets in an accident and awakens to find herself in a doomsday bunker with a stereotypical conspiracy theorist prepper “Howard” and his perceivable goofy handyman “Emmett”.
John Goodman as Howard goes from the awkward angry benefactor who instills mistrust in our heroin to lovable oddball. This, of course, is after his admission to causing her wreck and admitting his panic in the initial attack all smooths over and Goodman in that moment manages to make you care about this slightly unhinged man. After some time, an emergency leads them to send Michelle on a mission to fix the air purifier where new evidence is uncovered that the last owner of her gifted Paris shirt may have been held captive. This revelation is confirmed later as Emmette confirms ta photo is not Howard’s daughter but a missing girl.
The pair is now intent on an escape with Michelle crafting a hazmat suit out of a shower curtain and a large soda bottle. Only MacGyver could have done more with less! After Howard discovers the tools and Emmet admits he took them to make a weapon he is disposed of Breaking Bad style in a large vat of acid. Howard returns clean shaven expressing his desire for them to be a family.
This leads her on a desperate race to finish the hazmat suit acquires a can of compressed ethanol and exit the bunker through the back exit. In the process, she knocks the vat of acid over starting an electrical fire and mortally wounding Howard. As she escapes she finds lights behind the house to reveal an alien aircraft pouring out toxic gas. A ground fight ensues with an alien and the bunker blows sky high. She dispatches the alien and firebombs the aircraft and escapes in a nearby car. She finds a message over the radio safety in the east or helping others in the west. Her journey continues as she heads towards Texas in the west.
This is a true horror film battling the age old question which is worse the monster you know or the one you don’t. Howard is the monster we all know and perhaps dealing with that makes you strong enough to deal with the one you don’t. Unfortunately, the ending is weak between the firebomb and the turn on the road to Texas it became and easy out and a build up for another sequel. Overall I have paid money to see worse films after all I went and saw “W” the George W Bush biopic for a laugh. Goodman made you care about this nut job while Winstead who played Michelle was a believable in her role as she left no doubt she could conquer in this world. My only gripe is that they relied too much on the crazy man in the bomb shelter stereotype in this film when most preppers are quite knowledgeable about whatever series of events they are concerned over.
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