The bunker quakes, and hard little nuggets of sand and cement shake loose -- the sky is falling, the sky is falling, and all you got was this leg brace and a public pee space to show for it. What 10 Cloverfield Lane does with Cloverfield is dubbed by Variety and its ilk as "universe building" and it's a phrase that's never seemed more apt, as with our own universe the film both expands and contracts -- space itself shrinks as the Big Bad City infested with Big Bads is instead a spider-hole, Shelob's Lair by way of Martha Stewart, where John Goodman weaves deceptions and mug-cozies with equal ease.
In the meantime the artistry gets great big, shooting off the walls in every direction, pow, pow -- pretty pictures, prettier pictures, deep reserves of performance, emotion, character, spill forth, melting faces. The frame holds, even as sanity, ye old sea-wench, slips. It's only when the outdoors come a'callin' fresh that the good ol' Godzilla tropes come a'stompin', but silliness or no I can always appreciate a good slimy kick-the-space-squids-tail catharsis.