I avoided watching 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE after hearing the premise. It just seemed like something I’d seen before. Finally catching it on Netflix, it thoroughly impressed me, proving you can serve up a formula in a fresh way with good acting, solid directing, and a strong script.
When Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) walks out on her fiance and drives out of New Orleans, she hears about a blackout in major cities on the radio. Moments later, she gets into a car accident and later wakes up in an underground bunker with two men, Howard (the always excellent John Goodman), a conspiracy theorist and prepper, and Emmett, who’d helped him build the shelter. They tell her an event happened, rendering the surface unlivable. Michelle’s distrust of Howard leads her to try to escape and discover the truth about what’s happening on the surface.
This was a compelling movie with great pacing that kept me watching, an excellent take on the question: What if you survived the end of the world with a guy who may be crazy at best, a murderer at worst?
The film is only a kissing cousin to the movie CLOVERFIELD, though it appears to provide an answer where that big monster came from. Thankfully, 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE isn’t found footage with a lurching camera but instead a straight-up simple apocalyptic story. Apparently, there will be a third film in the franchise, THE GOD PARTICLE.