A walk down Cloverfield Lane
So JJ Abrams has sneakily produced what hes calling a blood relative to his big budget found footage monster flick. Thats Hollywoods way of saying not quite a sequel but definitely taking place in the same world as Cloverfield. A quick primer for those who havent seen the original: Big monster arrives in Manhattan. Chaos ensues. Id advise a trip to Netflix* as there are going to be spoilers ahead.
In 10 Cloverfield Lane, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr are sharing an underground bunker with John Goodman who appears to be the only monster this movie might need. The 10 Cloverfield Lane trailer goes from the trio seemingly happy playing the Game Of Life to some seriously intense staring and, well, smashing each other with bottles. Mary Elizabeth Winsteads character, Michelle, apparently wakes up in the bomb shelter and is told by Goodman, who says hes a doctor, that the city above is uninhabitable. Theres more questions than answers here but taking a closer look at the trailer, theres some suitably intriguing hints about whats to come.
*Other streaming services are available.
Who are you people?
At first glance, this trio seems content to be in each others company. Lets take a look at the above screen. As we all are in some form, theyre playing the Game of Life. Theres sunflowers, Winstead is looking the epitome of 50s housewife in floral print and, more ominously, John Gallagher Jr has his arm in a sling. Goodman has a plaster on his forehead too which leads one to believe that either the trip into the bunker was bone breaking bad or Goodman has already been violent to keep the pair inside.
In addition, Theres a sign on the wall saying Dinner choices - 1. Take it 2. Leave it which is vaguely sinister on two levels. One, thats probably the only valid choices underground and two, thats actually someones twee choice of decor for the end of the world. Truly disturbing.
Where the hell are they?
Now this is slightly trickier as surely a bunker can be anywhere but theres one clue that suggests were still on the East Coast of the US. John Gallagher Jr is wearing a hat that says East Marion which is, coincidentally, an area of New York.
The monster incident took place in central Manhattan so we wouldnt have to travel terribly far to reach the fallout of the disaster. Whether that fallout is a chemical used in the bomb the army planned to use to obliterate the original monster, or a spread of the spidery nasties that had spread to the sewers, we dont know. All thats clear is that were in an underground shelter and Winsteads character definitely doesnt want to be there.
Whats happening outside?
It would be easy to say that another giant monster is out there stomping all over the place and thats whats causing the overhead rumblings but that doesnt necessarily need to the be the case. Cloverfield actually had other monsters. Namely the parasites mentioned in the previous slide. These were nasty spidery insects that unfortunately caused a character to literally explode after being bitten in the first film. Ouch.
Leading on from that is the fact that the original film actually showed what looked like a satellite/spaceship crashing into the sea off Coney Island. This drove fan theorists mad on Cloverfields release and showed that there was definitely some world building going on. Check out the video below to see for yourself. What is in that vessel? Perhaps well get more answers here or, potentially, even more questions.
Why are they in the bunker if the lights are on out there?
This is perhaps the most disturbing question of all. If, as the tagline suggests, monsters come in many forms then not only could Goodmans doctor be keeping the pair in a bunker against their will, but there may also be nothing wrong with the world outside. Look at the above screen as Winstead finally gets to the bunker door. Isnt that a house with the lights on? This looks suspiciously like a man keeping a couple hostage in a perfectly normal street.
The latter actually starts making sense if you look at the speedy shot of the shackles fastened to the wall. Those are no ordinary handcuffs and look a lot like the kind of chained manacles to keep prisoners in check. Has Goodmans character been shopping? Add in the shot where Winstead is holding up her iPhone to get reception and it seems that there might still be a world out there. Id like to think she just got an Instagram notification that suggests someones still out there.
How long have they been in there?
This might be a strange question but I want to know how long theyve been in there before Winstead clearly snaps and tries to escape. Interestingly theres a few shots dotted about of her with a leg problem. She has a crutch in one scene as she gets to the bottom of the stairs up to the door and you can see a crude support on her right leg as she desperately tries to get phone reception.
This suggests shes already tried to get away before and theres a distinct lack of John Gallagher Jr in these later shots. Has he ended up in the barrel of something that John Goodman is standing suspiciously next to? Its all ridiculously intriguing and all packaged up into a stylish and claustrophobic trailer that makes me very glad we only need to wait a few months. Heres to monsters.