Earlier this week, I went to see 10 Cloverfield Lane as a perk of being genuinely awesome. Just kidding, but only sort of. I was actually given the opportunity to see the movie, thanks to the team at Moviepilot, with a theater full of other fans and critics. The experience of seeing a pre-screening was only surpassed by how much I genuinely enjoyed the movie.
Some of you may remember Cloverfield, released in 2008, and you may have your own opinion about it. Yet regardless of your opinion, it truly was a unique film that left everyone with more questions than answers and that's exactly what it was supposed to do. If there is one think that J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot do well, it is create entertainment that leave you wanting more. 10 Cloverfield Lane is no exception to that policy, and it was an exquisite display of the taut thrill ride that I'd expect from a film in the Cloverfield Universe.
I say in the Cloverfield Universe fairly loosely, because ultimately you don't need any prior film knowledge to understand this movie. In and of itself, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a completely self-contained psychological, white knuckle experience. I don't often jump in a movie, but there were several times when I was lurched from what I expected to what I had actually just witnessed.
Dan Trachtenberg, in his theatrical feature debut, delivered an incredible film that I would recommend across the board to anyone, regardless of your opinion on Cloverfield. While I was watching, on the edge of my seat truthfully, I started thinking about how each of the unique characters compare to our own emotional state. In the movie there are 3 characters who the story revolves around: Howard, Michelle & Emmett.
Each of the three characters have truly unique personalities that are easily comparable to our own emotional state. They each shine in different ways, but let's look at how they compare to our own lives:
Howard - Portrayed by John Goodman
Anger & Disillusion
Let me start off by saying that John Goodman honestly stole the show with his performance of Howard. Howard is the easily described as the explosion waiting to happen that we all have inside us. He carries himself, and is self-described as a calm person, but the truth is that he's a volcano of emotion ready to explode at the first nudge.
We all have those moments where we feel like we have to bury our anger otherwise we don't know what's going to happen, and that is what Howard embodies. He is a man who could and does go off the handle at the smallest and inconsequential event. When you add the emotion of disillusion to the anger and you get a really dangerous combination that could take you in any number of directions.
Michelle - Portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Defiance & Choice
Mary Elizabeth Winstead is at the top of her game as she brought to life Michelle. She is the inner non-conformist that we all struggle with. She refuses to believe what she is being told and she does everything in her power to find a way to control the situation that she is currently in. We all face those moments where it's fight or flight and that is what Michelle embodies.
No matter how you handle the fight or flight moments, we've all had those moments where the decision has to be made. Michelle is the perfect example of both sides of the coin as she makes the choice to fight at times but then she also chooses to take flight and tries to escape the situation.
Emmett - Portrayed by John Gallagher Jr.
Submission & Regret
John Gallagher Jr. brought the levity to an intense movie with his portrayal of Emmett. Emmett is the doubt that we all carry. No matter how confident we may be, there is always that doubt that holds us back from stepping into our dreams or even the unknown. Emmett traps himself in fear and submits to it in defeat without even trying.
Emmett, faced a life of submitting to his own fear and never accomplished anything. Fear is a scary emotion and it's easy to get trapped in an endless loop of submitting to your own doubt. Emmett is the perfect example of failure to step into what's next and the regret that we all carry.
All in all, 10 Cloverfield Lane is an incredible film. It's full of emotion, depth and anticipation. There is no producer like J.J. Abrams when it comes to wrapping you up in a story and keeping you on the edge of your seat. Take one more look at the trailer if you haven't watch it yet.