John Goodman plays a man with a well-stocked bunker and a penchant for rules in 10 Cloverfield Lane.

John Goodman plays a man with a well-stocked bunker and a penchant for rules in 10 Cloverfield Lane.

Reel Reviews: Cloverfield companion piece is at a new address

10 Cloverfield Lane is more of an accompanying piece to Cloverfield.

  • Mar. 20, 2016 9:00 a.m.

After a young woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has an auto accident, she wakes up in the care of a man (John Goodman) in his underground bunker.

The man explains that the world has gone insane and people are dying from a toxic biological weapon. He also says that they can’t open the door for a few years until the air is clean. The young woman isn’t particularly keen on sticking around, but the man insists, for a while.

We say, “Sometimes simple is best.”

HOWE: When this trailer started making the rounds last year, I was pretty excited about it. It had people asking if it was a sequel to Cloverfield.

When it was released last week, I tried to avoid hearing or reading anything about it as I wanted the surprise. I can say that the surprise is there, but not what I was expecting. I don’t want to say anything more than that, otherwise I might spoil it.

TAYLOR: Ah, the curse of the movie reviewer: You want to tell the people the juicy bits, but you can’t.

I think 10 Cloverfield Lane is an accompanying piece to Cloverfield. It could be happening simultaneously with the original film (which, if you have forgotten, was a handheld sci-fi horror film with a giant monster and creepy crawly aliens). The events that unfold at 10 Cloverfield Lane could have happened before or after the events in the original film.

Cloverfield was a fun film, but characters spent a lot of time stumbling away from something in the dark. At 10 Cloverfield Lane, we watch three people stew under the bunker’s fluorescent lights. They’ve got their own issues to sort out first, then we’ll go see what’s up outside.

HOWE: There is tension in the film. It’s not as much as the movie Room, but you can still feel it just bubbling under the surface, a bit like John Goodman’s character, waiting to snap.

I thought he was great, but then again he can play any role it seems, from crazy-calm, to a nut job, to a happy cuddly grandfather figure. All three actors did well. They had to be good as 90 per cent of the film only contains them in a small underground apocalyptic bunker.

TAYLOR: They do go outside and there is something going on out there. You probably aren’t going to like it. There isn’t much of it and it’s more mechanical than biological.

If anything, the two Cloverfield films are separated by their similarities and the film suffers when it doesn’t feel right. Luckily, this is just a much anticipated denouement, lasting paltry minutes in an escape tale worthy of telling.

See 10 Cloverfield Lane if you’re in the mood for something to make you wonder, at least a little bit.

– Howe gives 10 Cloverfield Lane 3.5 earrings out of 5.

– Taylor gives it 3.5 rolls of duct tape out of 5.

Reel Reviews with Brian Taylor and Peter Howe appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.