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Posted on April 18, 2016

Patriarchy and Monstrosity in 10 Cloverfield Lane

Guest Post

Guest Author: Cayla McNally

When I saw 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016) I was stunned, to say the least. Having seen Cloverfield in all its shaky-cam glory in 2008, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this iteration, and I certainly didn’t expect the film to be as feminist as it is.

It tells the story of Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who jilts her fiancé, gets into a car accident, and wakes up chained to a wall. She is being held there by Howard (John Goodman) who claims to have brought her to his underground bunker in order to save her life. He also claims that a large-scale attack occurred shortly after her accident, thus making leaving the bunker impossible. His story is corroborated by Emmett (John Gallagher, Jr.), who helped build the bunker and witnessed the attack. However, Michelle is rightfully skeptical, and as the narrative unwinds, the truth proves to be more sinister than originally imagined.

At its heart, 10 Cloverfield Lane is ultimately a story of private and public disaster, of oppression on a micro and macro level, and of the banality of monstrosity. Patriarchy, the practice of disenfranchising and infantilizing women, often with the goal of silencing and protecting them, is – without revealing everything- the true monster of the film. Read more

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