I have been trying to make sense of 10 Cloverfield Lane for months, from the moment I saw the title of this movie at the end of its trailer. And after seeing the movie I’m still searching for answers.
Hinting at a connection between this movie and Cloverfield was probably not the best idea that J.J. Abrams has had. Cloverfield massively disappointed me. It seemed like a great concept, putting the camera in the middle of monster-created chaos, but Cloverfield ended up being your typical found footage crapfest from start to finish. So to suggest this is a sequel or prequel or some other form of spinoff was a weird choice, especially because the trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane contained no hint of a connection between it and Cloverfield other than the similar name (and thankfully also contained NO FOUND FOOTAGE).
The common name is not a coincidence but it was a terrible idea. It ruined what might otherwise have been a nice twist two-thirds of the way through 10 Cloverfield Lane. To paraphrase Shakespeare, this same movie by a different name would have been just as mediocre, but at least the title wouldn’t have tipped off the audience that there was more outside the bunker to be afraid of than a lady with a melted face.
So if you’re making this movie, why tip your hand in the title? Does the Cloverfield brand really have that much value? Am I the only one who disliked that movie? I mean, I totally hated The Visit and others apparently thought it was good. So I’m open to the possibility that a similar thing happened with Cloverfield, but I would be surprised. Tell me whether or not you’re with me in the comments but know that I’m judging you based on your response.
It felt good to get that out of my system and now I think I can focus on 10 Cloverfield Lane as its own movie. In two words: don’t bother. The group of 13 year old girls sitting behind us couldn’t take it seriously and neither could I. There are way too many disparate elements at work and as a result the movie is disjointed from beginning to end. There’s nothing remotely redeeming or original here.
If end-of-the-world movies were drinks, 10 Cloverfield Lane would be a glass of three random types of bar-rail liquor, served to guests without a taste test. So it’s only fitting that 10 Cloverfield Lane gets a score of three bottles of cheap scotch out of ten.