Movie Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane


by Bob Garver

The new horror movie, “10 Cloverfield Lane,” has been billed as a “spiritual successor” to 2008’s “Cloverfield.” This is an infuriating term that conjures up images of either a glorified remake or an unrelated film trying to cash in on the “Cloverfield” name. To be fair, it does somewhat fall into the latter category. From that perspective, it probably brings to mind “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2,” also a barelyrelated steady-cam successor to a shaky-cam original. This movie is better than “Book of Shadows,” but that’s not much of an achievement. What is an achievement is that it’s better than “Cloverfield.”

Gone is the grand scale of “Cloverfield.” You won’t see the decapitated heads of any national landmarks rolling down the middle of a busy street here. Instead we get an underground bunker in rural Louisiana populated by three people. Howard (John Goodman) is the owner and master of the shelter. Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) is a well-meaning neighbor who forced himself inside at the last minute. And Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is a young woman fleeing from her boyfriend who got in a car accident near the shelter. Howard pulled her from the wreckage and brought her to the bunker right before an attack on the planet left the surface uninhabitable.

As outlandish as it sounds, there’s evidence to back Howard up, not the least of which is confirmation from Emmett and affected animals visibly rotting outside. But Howard’s a hard guy to trust. He may be a survival expert, but he could do with some lessons in tact. He doesn’t have a clue how to be sensitive and reassuring to the scared Michelle, whose head is swimming with questions and who woke up chained in an unfamiliar setting (for her own good, according to him). Pretty much the best he can do is soften his voice to a whine,

and that’s when he’s not being gruff or downright threatening. He clearly has a screw loose, and may be the last person on Earth you’d want to have power over you, even if he is one of the last people on Earth. It’s easy to dislike Howard, but more than that you’ll just really want him to be wrong.

The film is a very tense and suspenseful cramped-quarters movie. Michelle desperately wants to escape, even though she’s constantly told that there’s nothing to escape to. But it’s just so tempting to want to get away from Howard, who’s an unpleasant control freak at best and something much more dangerous at worst. He manages to turn a simple party game into the scariest scene in the movie (but also the funniest). Mind games abound, and you’ll wonder just how long these three will be able to tolerate each other. It gets to a point where it doesn’t seem to matter what’s outside, anything has to be better than what’s inside. Of course, then there’s the matter of having to deal with what’s outside.

The end of the film is disappointing, not because there’s nothing to it (as one might suspect), but because it devolves the film into the kind of hide-and-chase movie that we’ve all seen before. It might have done well to ditch the “Cloverfield” association so there’s more of a mystery as to what’s really going on (then again, it would be admittedly harder to get people interested in this movie without the franchise name recognition). But otherwise this is a tight low-budget thriller that is one of the better lowbudget thrillers I’ve seen in a while. Winstead is sympathetic, Goodman is terrifying, and I wouldn’t mind seeing a follow-up involving the survivor(s) of this movie. Both “Cloverfield” films do a good job of being unnerving, and while the first one does a better job of seeming spontaneous, “10 Cloverfield Lane,” with its smarter script and more interesting characters, is the superior film. Three Stars out of Five “10 Cloverfield Lane” is rated PG-13 for thematic material including frightening sequences of threat with some violence, and brief language. Its running time is 103 minutes.

Contact Bob Garver at:

Facebook Comments

Website Comments

  1. homepage

    I am really loving the theme/design of your site. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility problems?
    A small number of my blog readers have complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer but looks great
    in Chrome. Do you have any recommendations to help fix this issue?

  2. Ewers Architecture

    You actually make іt seеm so easy with your presentation but I find this mateг to be really sоmething thst I think I
    would never underѕtаnd. It seems too complex and very broad
    for me. I am looking forwsard for your next ⲣoѕt, I’ll ttry
    to get the hang of it!

  3. game poker online indonesia

    Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I’m inspired!
    Extremely useful info specifically the remaining part :)
    I take care of such info a lot. I was seeking this certain information for a very
    long time. Thanks and good luck.

  4. buba suba

    hlvlfZ Valuable information. Lucky me I found your site by accident, and I am shocked why this accident did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  5. hotel for sale

    Thanks for another wonderful post. Where else could anyone get that type of information in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.


    Thank you for another excellent post. The place else could anyone get that type of info in such an ideal method of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the search for such info.

  7. to learn more

    I’а†ve learn some good stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how so much effort you place to make the sort of great informative website.

  8. lafayette Indiana mortgage

    You can definitely see your expertise in the work you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren at afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.

  9. thi cong camera

    The electronic cigarette uses a battery and a small heating factor the vaporize the e-liquid. This vapor can then be inhaled and exhaled

  10. via best buy

    Title It as really a great and useful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Togel Online Terbaik

    Normally I don at learn article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite nice post.

  12. deer placenta

    Your style is very unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you ave got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this site.

  13. Semilla de Brasil original

    Is not it amazing whenever you discover a fantastic article? My personal web browsings seem full.. thanks. Respect the admission you furnished.. Extremely valuable perception, thanks for blogging..

  14. click here

    Thank you, I ave recently been searching for information about this topic for ages and yours is the best I have discovered till now. But, what about the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?

  15. EZVitalityHealth

    Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is great, as well as the content!

  16. furtdso linopv

    This web page is really a stroll-via for all the information you wished about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and also you’ll undoubtedly uncover it.