10 Cloverfield Lane

I was disappointed from the start, from the first scene in the bunker where it’s made clear that the John Goodman character is a a man of dubious intent, but thoroughly dangerous creep who must be escaped at all costs – before it’s too late.

So there’s no suspense. No mystery. He’s creepy evil. For those who’ve seen the trailer the question then isn’t How Does it All Go Sideways, which would have been an interesting fulfilment of the trailer and was very much the movie I wanted to see, to How Will She Escape (She Can’t!)? Which is lame because 1) we have to wait two acts before she can and 2) It’s setting up a scenario that will be very hard to pay off.

And there is a Second Guy in the shelter. We soon realise the Goodman character is someone who would never in a bajillion years of real life *ever* let 2nd Guy into the bunker. Yet he’s there to offer tension and be a sounding board for the Woman’s escape. The reveal that the Unnamed Disaster Outside actually really happened comes too early. Mainly to because a big chunk of the movie is about her MacGyvering a HAZMAT suit of the shower curtain and other bits.

It’s believable (cough) because she’s a hobbyist clothing designer and the bunker just happens being chock full of clothing design magazines. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. I think she is maybe genetically immune because later, when she gets out the suit gets torn a lot and she pretty indifferent about using the respirator.

But I am glad to have learned that a lit up bottle of whiskey is an effective counter measure to an interstellar alien fighter craft. I wouldn’t have thought that.

If the film had been called 10 Starship Troopers Lane, I’d appreciate the tongue in cheek comedy. But I have the strong sense that a promising horror script was co-opted into an entirely different story, and the two never should have met.

Instead of making a rich claustrophobic horror about a few people trapped in a bomb shelter OR a spiritual successor or outright sequel to Cloverfield. We get two ideas badly stitched together to make this sad side-show Mermaid of a film.