10 Cloverfield Lane Review

Everybody has been held captive at one point. Everybody has been in some level of prison. For some it’s as innocuous as an annoying job. For others it might be a broken relationship. For an unlucky minority, it’s been a fallout bunker with John Goodman.

No matter which captor that is doing the capturing, we all have the same decision to make. Do we give up, accept our fate and try to make the best of the situation? Or do we burn the whole, goddamned thing down to the ground. 10 Cloverfield Lane is a story about making that decision, and not just in the obvious way.

10 Cloverfield Lane opens on a distressed woman running away. But her impulsive reaction goes poorly and when she awakens from a nasty car crash, she finds herself chained to a pipe in a windowless, cinder block room. Now, I’m not trying to victim blame here. She is not to blame for being taken by a (what seems to be) predator. However, I do find it interesting that her natural reaction to run away lead directly to her predicament.

Running away usually seems like the best option to break free from your bonds. But will you ever really be free? Every single character in 10 Cloverfield Lane is struggling with to escape their past, not just our main character. There entire cast is dealing with the fact that there is always another captor (in many forms) waiting to take control.

Mental knots tie you to your past. By never untangling your history, you never find closure.

10 Cloverfield Lane Barrel Scene

So what can we learn from 10 Cloverfield Lane? Well that’s up to you. You get to decide what kind of movie it is and therefore you get to decide on the message.

10 Cloverfield Lane doesn’t want you to know what genre you are watching, not until the very last frame. Is it a horror film? Is it a psychological thriller? Is it a science fiction movie? All of the different genre tropes take turns getting presented and refuted and presented and refuted. It’s up to you to decide which kind of movie you think it’s going to be.

No matter what you think, you’re probably not wrong. Unless you think it’s a romantic comedy. No. It’s not a romantic comedy and you might have a serious mental condition if you think that.

10 Cloverfield Lane Gasping

What did I get out of 10 Cloverfield Lane? Don’t accept captivity. Whatever it is. Don’t accept it. Fight back. Take what’s yours. You may feel an intense pressure to conform, a sense of duty to just accept what you have and be grateful you’re not worse off. Bull crap.

Here’s the thing. You need to live free or die hard. You may not get away scot-free but you still need to be a pilgrim who sets sail against the winds of the world. Make it happen. While the journey may not be death proof and the fight might get you killed, just remember that we all reach our final destination one way or another. Be spectacular. Now.

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