There are monsters outside. Maybe. And there are monsters inside. Probably. All we know for sure is that it’s a sequel to the original Cloverfield movie. I think.
10 Cloverfield Lane shows the conflict between three people trapped in a bunker while who knows what (or possibly nothing at all) goes on outside. Is it . . . actually, I have no idea what it is, so let’s take a look at the trailer and find out.
So who stars in this movie? Mary Elizabeth Winstead of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is Michelle, John Gallagher Jr. of Jonah Hex plays Emmett, and John Goodman of Monsters, Inc. and The Big Lebowski is doomsday prepper Howard. The director is Dan Trachtenberg, and this is his first big film (I have seen his short film Portal: No Escape, and it was pretty great), so we’ll have to wait to see what he brings to the table.
The trailer opens with Michelle waking up handcuffed to a pipe in an underground bunker, her knee wrapped in some sort of cast or brace. She takes out her cell phone and tries unsuccessfully to get service. I don’t think this is the best time to tweet your circumstances. #kidnapped. Howard comes in wearing a gun, and Michelle asks what he’s going to do to her. “I’m going to keep you alive,” he says, bringing her an IV drip. That’s right, whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother, you’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
Howard lets her loose and tells her she was in a car accident and he saved her by bringing her to his bunker. “Everyone outside of here is dead,” he tells her. That must have been a doozy of an accident. Michelle’s not convinced, though, and asks her bunker-mate Emmett how he hurt his arm, now in a sling. “Were you trying to escape?” she asks. “I was trying to get in,” Emmett tells her. They were having a massive sale; you should have seen the crowds. If she still had doubts, the shaking above her implies something big is out there. Or else their bunker is three feet from a subway.
“How do you know that this is real?” Michelle asks Emmett. Because I spun my little top and it fell over. Keep up, girl. Michelle discovers a window with the word HELP scratched into it. Which would have been more effective if it’d been scratched so that it could be read not backwards from the inside. Unless it was scratched on the inside of the glass? Maybe Emmett’s not telling the truth? Either way, Michelle’s had enough, and she smashes a bottle into Howard’s face and runs for the door. Oh, come on, his cooking isn’t that bad!
Michelle gets past the first door and tries to open the second, but stops when she sees and hears something outside. “You’re going to get us all killed!” Howard yells. Especially if you try to escape in a car. Michelle crawls through the vents and almost gets stabbed, the bunker catches fire like Katniss, and Michelle finally makes it outside as Howard declares, “Something’s coming.” I don’t know what it is, but it is gonna be great. And the trailer ends with a brilliant light shining behind a house and a Cloverfield monster roar, but no glimpse of the monster (if it’s even in the film). I think these trailers have Godzilla beat for saving a good look at the monster for the movie itself.
So based on the trailer, do I recommend the movie? Yes, yes I do, and that’s knowing next to nothing about it. In fact, that’s why I love it. The marketing campaign has been so minimalistic, with only a couple of short trailers released within a month or so of release, it’s managed to preserve the mystery of the movie in a way most other trailers can’t. Is there a monster? Is John Goodman playing monster sound effects into a bullhorn? Should Michelle be trying to escape, or is she safer down below? We don’t know, and we won’t know until we watch the movie. But I have faith in the filmmakers and in the cast to bring quality work, and the snippets we’ve seen in the trailer are very promising. In short, those West Side Story lyrics I quoted sum it up well: I don’t know what it is, but it’s going to be great. I’ll probably be checking this one out in theaters if I get the chance.
Assuming it’s safe to go outside. There could be monsters out there. I don’t know.
10 Cloverfield Lane is owned by Paramount.