10 Cloverfield Lane’s’ plot leaves audience with too many unanswered questions

Published by adviser, Author: Haley Barnes - News Editor, Date: April 13, 2016

Have you ever been watching a movie and really enjoyed that movie until the final 10 minutes just threw you off resulting in pure hatred for that movie? That was most definitely me while watching “10 Cloverfield Lane.”

“10 Cloverfield Lane” directed by Dan Trachtenberg stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Michelle, a naïve woman who is in a car accident after breaking up with her significant other who wakes up to find that she has been kidnapped and forced to live in a bunker with two other men who claim the above ground air has been contaminated by an unknown force, such as an enemy country or extraterrestrial beings. The entire plot follows her struggle in attempt to make it out of the bunker alive, as she believes there is still life above ground, while John Goodman’s character, Howard, constantly reassures her that the air will not be safe to breath for years and that the bunker that he built is her only hope to survive. It is later revealed that Howard accidentally hit and saved Michelle from the car accident bringing her to the bunker, along with John Gallagher Jr.’s character Emmett, Howard’s neighbor, but eventually Michelle’s ally in attempt to escape the bunker.

With an estimated budget of $15 million, the film didn’t even double that during opening weekend of March 11 and the success of the film appears to be coasting along, as the current gross is about $68 million with only being in theaters for a month. The 2008 film “Cloverfield” directed by Matt Reeves is believed to be connected to “10 Cloverfield Lane,” as the unofficial prequel or sequel. I have not seen “Cloverfield,” but during my research, the film seemed to fall flat in the theaters, which makes me question the reasoning “10 Cloverfield Lane,” as if Trachtenberg actually thought the film would be a success.

My main problem with “10 Cloverfield Lane” is that there are too many unanswered questions that the plot fails to even attempt to answer, which left me feeling confused and ripped off at the film’s end, such as the constant mention of Howard’s daughter Megan and the mystery behind her death. Howard’s side of the story is that Megan died in the attacks, but Michelle believes that Howard murdered Megan. I understand that Megan’s mention was to help drive the plot forcing the audience to be on Michelle’s side the whole film, as we are supposed to want her to escape the bunker, but I think that this detail only confused me more.

As for the cast, I feel that casting Goodman as the role of Harold was the strongest point of the movie. Looking at Goodman’s past major roles, he played Dan Conner in “Roseanne,” Sulley in the two “Monster’s Inc.” films, as well as several other roles that portray Goodman as a lighthearted person. I was expecting him to fall flat based on his past roles, but he was really able to portray the semi-insane, yet caring Howard in a perfect light.

Ultimately, I feel as if the overall concept of “10 Cloverfield Lane” was unique, but overall it was executed poorly, especially within the final 10 minutes of the movie. I feel as if Trachtenberg wanted the audience to be on the edge of their seat during the whole film, but for me personally, there was just too much going on all at once, making the plot too hard to follow. For that reason, I would not recommend this film to anyone.





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