Dystopia, again

And I didn’t even mean to!

First, I finished Snowpiercer. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, we hear Curtis’ origin story. Also, I don’t know what actually happens at the end of the movie. Someone online talked about how it was more than likely that the polar bear was about to come down and inspect the carnage — and possibly eat them — rather than it being a symbol of hope that things could survive.

That’s all very well, but for me watching the movie was like watching a trainwreck. It was deeply interesting, especially given the plot twists and the acting and the sheer horror of carefully planned chaos, but it was just difficult to watch. Kind of like Mad Max in that regard.

And then I watched 10 Cloverfield Lane last night. We decided to see it in a movie theater just because the narrative seemed to demand a wide screen. It’s… I can’t really tell you what it’s about. What seems to happen is that a woman is driven off the side of the road in a horrible accident, hours after she leaves her fiancee, post-tiff. When she wakes up, she’s in a bunker with an IV attached to her arm and a man telling her that he saved her from the attacks — could be Russian, could be nuclear, could be aliens.

Spoiler alert!

I like a good plot. This was a great plot, with enough terrifying moments to make me literally cover my face with my hands at one point. Michelle’s sheer desperation and audacity make her a sympathetic character, but that much of a well-rounded one. We get, from what she says, that she’s built a side career out of running away at the first sign of trouble, and we see the way she leaves Ben, but we don’t really see the magnitude of the problem.

That’s the case in much of the movie. Two girls could potentially have been locked down in the bunker with Howard and he could have killed both of them, but it’s never confirmed. That potential makes for more a more interesting flavor of terror, of course, but I wanted to know. Of course we see all this from Michelle’s perspective, so to her, finding the truth is secondary to surviving.

Abrams’ aliens are hideous of course, and really very alien. There’s no communication, or time to learn how to. I’d love to see a sequel in which Michelle is a commander of a unit or something and she figures out a better way to communicate with them.

Preferably not with Molotov cocktails.

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