“10 Cloverfield Lane” Proves to be Perplexing

10 Cloverfield Lane Proves to be Perplexing

Lindsey DeBruin, Staff Writer

As the end of the world seems frighteningly close, the plethora of “end-of-the-world” type movies have taken center stage. With the popular trend in entertainment centered around armageddon, it’s not surprising that another movie about a post-apocalyptic world has hit the box office. Including everything from car crashes to aliens, 10 Cloverfield Lane attempts to shove too many concepts into one plot creating a crowded movie that borders between horror and sci-fi.

My first clue that 10 Cloverfield Lane was going to fall behind my expectations was the absence of people filling the theater (although this wasn’t exactly upsetting to me). The movie opened with a scene of a young woman named Michelle, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, in a downtown apartment hurriedly packing her belongings and deliberately leaving her engagement ring sitting on a dresser. In her distressed state, her neglect to pay attention to the road causes the first jumpscare of the film: a mysterious truck t-bones her and causes her car to spiral and flip to the point of total destruction.

The next scene begins with Michelle hazily waking up in a cold, concrete bunked and her leg chained to the wall. While she struggles to liberate herself, a large man named Howard, played by John Goodman, busts open the door. He starts spewing cryptic statements about Michelle “never being able to see her family again” and how “there’s no one up there to contact anymore.” As confused as anyone would expect her to be, Michelle demands an explanation for his statements, to which he responds that there has been an attack on earth and everyone above ground is dead.

The duration of the movie consists of Michelle forming a bond with another man in the bunker and attempting to escape to the outside world. The viewer is just as skeptical as Michelle is about the condition of earth and both are in constant waves of belief and disbelief of Howard’s claims.

Despite having a storyline that leaves the audience on a teacup ride of confusion, the actors themselves bring this movie up from a 3 to a solid 6. Goodman, being a chameleon of roles and acting in both children’s movies and thrillers alike, portrays a believable character that emits an unexplainably disturbing feeling. Winstead’s sporadic yet deliberate plotting for escape has you rooting for her in anxious silence, and John Gallagher’s ill-timed playful and carefree vibe provide the comic relief that a movie like this desperately needs.

What takes the movie down a couple notches, however, were the CGI aliens that present themselves at the end of the movie. The aliens resemble dewey, fiery, moles with pot bellies that rival most show pigs and are about as threatening as an actual mole would be. Being more cartoonish and less realistic in appearance significantly decreases the believability of the creatures and the film as a whole.

My suggestion to you would be to skip “10 Cloverfield Lane” and instead go to see, for example, Deadpool. While it’s not a terrible movie, it fits in with the all too common “end of the world” theme with way more confusion than average.