Depending on what you saw first, 10 Cloverfield Lane could be two things. If you saw the title first, chances are you’d think this would be a sequel to the found-footage creature flick Cloverfield. If you saw John Goodman in a bomb shelter while “I Think We’re Alone Now” performed by Tommy James & the Shondells plays (No, it’s not a Tiffany original), you probably thought Walter Sobchak was back for a spin-off film for The Big Lebowski.

10 Cloverfield Lane: Bad Robot Productions
10 Cloverfield Lane: Bad Robot Productions

Unfortunately, 10 Cloverfield Lane is probably neither of these. Not exactly.

The film, produced by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, and John Gallagher Jr., follows the preceding days of a young woman who is knocked unconscious in a car accident and wakes up in a bomb shelter, allegedly “rescued” by a survivalist who says that chemical warfare has obliterated the outside world.

By the look of the trailer, what seems to be a happy little apocalyptic family becomes dysfunctional, possibly due to cabin fever, chemicals seeping into the bunker, or maybe survivalists are really that crazy. Why would any red-blooded straight man not want Mary Elizabeth Winstead to think that she had to stay in a bunker with you for the rest of her life?

J.J. Abrams had stated, in a press release from Paramount Pictures, that 10 Cloverfield Lane is “a blood relative of ‘Cloverfield.'” To figure out what that means, we first have to decide on what Cloverfield was. Was it a monster that rampaged through New York City? No. It was a military case file. The movie happened to be video-taped evidence of an extraterrestrial creature but, like Frankenstein, the monster’s name was not Cloverfield.

With this in mind, watching the trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane feels more like another case file. Unfortunately, found-footage has lost its appeal, but the idea that this film could be military evidence testing the psychology of survivors of a nuclear holocaust is very real. The Cloverfield line could be Abrams’ take on a series much like The X-Files.

I want to believe.

10 Cloverfield Lane is set for release on March 11, 2016.

By Pat Emmel

Patrick began collecting a library of VHS tapes, DVDs, and CDs when he was young, and continues to build a library that could easily double as a video store and/or a revitalized Tower Records.

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