After Bruce Willis’ daughter from the Die Hard movies crashes her car, she wakes up chained to a bed in a bunker, where John Goodman insists that it’s no longer safe to go outside due to a chemical attack. Why doesn’t she just call her dad, Bruce Willis?
This is not a sequel to Cloverfield, but a somewhat cynical attempt to extend the franchise that ultimately ruins the film. In terms of marketing, tacking a familiar name onto a separate project is nothing new, but rarely does it have such an idiotic creative impact. The question at the heart of 10 Cloverfield Lane is whether Goodman is telling the truth about the attack or if he’s just trying to keep her there – but we know he’s telling the truth BECAUSE IT’S CALLED CLOVERFIELD. What’s in a name? Quite a lot, as it turns out.
The result is a suspense film without any suspense. The writing and direction are unremarkable, leaving it up to John Goodman to do all the heavy lifting – and fortunately, he’s up to the task. Goodman is great as the badman, somewhere between Annie Wilkes and Harry S. Plinkett. Actually, Plinkett’s home movies are much scarier than this, and being found footage, they have greater claim to the name Cloverfield.
Also capable are John Gallagher Jr. and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, whose character’s untested talents seem to range from improvisational surgery to shower-curtain biotechnology. That’s just what happens when your dad is Bruce Willis from Die Hard. Together, they perform a passable three-handed, single-location thriller. But if you’ve seen Misery, The Disappearance of Alice Creed or Right At Your Door, this feels more like 10 Cloverfield Lame.