by CHESANIE BRANTLEY//Editor-in-Chief
The walls and the ceiling tremble underground while they fly overhead.
“10 Cloverfield Lane” opens with Michelle, played by Mary Winstead, leaving her home and husband behind and driving off into the night. She gets into a car accident and wakes up in a dungeon-like room. Her knee is chained to the wall, and an IV is stuck in her arm. She rips the IV out and reaches for her phone. Of course, there’s no signal. Then Howard, played by John Goodman, walks in.
Up until this point, the movie was quite boring, but when Howard walked in, the entire audience was sitting on the edge of their seat.
Did he kidnap her? What is he going to do?
But all he did was give her crutches and the key to unlock her chained knee. She immediately began to fashion a weapon by whittling the end of the wooden crutches into a sharp point with the metal key. As soon as he comes back, she attacks.
Howard continues to be kind to Michelle. He gives her food and anything she needs. But he makes the comment about how Michelle should be more appreciative and talks about his daughter Megan to the point where it starts to get weird. Later, he tells Michelle that the air above ground is toxic. He is not sure if it was a nuclear attack or something extraterrestrial. Michelle does not buy it.
While Michelle and Howard are in her room, they hear a loud crash. Howard gets up, and there is more yelling and crashing. At this point, Michelle does not know about anyone else in the bunker. Howard comes back with a bloody fist.
When Michelle does come out, she meets Emmett, played by John Gallagher Jr. His arm is in a sling, and he is laying behind shelves of food. Michelle asks him about the crashing, and that is when Howard sneaks up behind them and answers that Emmett had spilled food for an entire week.
Michelle is still unsure about Howard’s story, even when Emmett tries to convince her it’s true. She hears a car above the bunker and tries her first escape that first night. She makes Howard angry enough for him to start yelling in her face, and then she slips the keys from his belt loop and heads for the door. She sees the car with a woman whose face looks like it’s being eaten away.
After the woman dies trying to get in, Michelle believes the story and the three live in peace for a while. Then Howard gives Michelle some of Megan’s clothes to wear, because hers could be “contaminated” from the incident of her escape attempt.
When the walls and ceilings begin to shake, the air filtration system is turned off, and Michelle is the only one small enough to get it back on. She climbs through the air vents, and finds something interesting. “HELP” was scratched and smeared with blood on the inside of a window at the top of the bunker. Winstead did a phenomenal job of acting in this scene, because the fear and wonderment is written all over Michelle’s face.
Michelle and Emmett begin to uncover more of Howard’s dark secrets, but they can’t be divulged because that would give away too much of the story.
“10 Cloverfield Lane” keeps the audience in the dark. If your are into crazy, suspenseful science fiction movies, this is the movie to see. The entire time I found myself wondering what the heck was happening and what was in still in store.
But in the end, there was almost too much happening. I give “10 Cloverfield Lane” a 3 out of 5 stars.