10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

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The Narrator Returns
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Re: Cloverfield (Matt Reeves, 2008)

#2 Post by The Narrator Returns » Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:28 pm

What caught my eye at the end of the (excellent) trailer was seeing Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) listed as a writer. Of course, he was also a writer-for-hire on The Last Exorcism Part II.

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Re: Cloverfield (Matt Reeves, 2008)

#3 Post by D50 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:00 am

Trailer reminded me of another trio who slowly succumbed to cabin fever, Jack, Wendy, and Danny Torrance.

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Jeff
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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#4 Post by Jeff » Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:12 pm

Kind of surprised by how great this was. I'm somewhat conflicted about the third act. I think I'd be okay with it if it left more to the imagination. Just about everything else was aces though. Killer script, expert pacing, perfectly pitched performances from Goodman and Winstead. We need more of these (modestly-budgeted efficient thrillers, not movies with "Cloverfield" in the title).

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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#5 Post by warren oates » Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:33 pm

I liked it a lot too, for many of the same reasons, but my problems began before yours.
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The best part of the film for me is the way in which it slowly becomes clear that it isn't one of those old style genre films with a lot of red herrings where only one crazy thing ultimately turns out to be true. It's more like some of the better recent thrillers from around the world, especially South Korea, where its narrative is a shapeshifting mash-up and most if not all of the red herrings turn out to be true in one way or another: There is an apocalyptic attack. Goodman's also a creepy killer. The attack involves explosions and chemical weapons. And also aliens!

My biggest problems prior to the third act are two key details that lead into it. I just don't believe that Michelle or Emmett would imagine, even with good instructions, they could make a working chem/bio hazard suit and gas mask and then just trust it to ward off whatever unknown and unknowable threat is out there waiting. And I'm seriously confused about the design and layout of a carefully constructed prepper's bunker that wouldn't have an air filtration or alternate emergency exit area that's way more accessible. Did I miss something about why it's not and why she has to crawl through that vent to get to it both times?

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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#6 Post by Jeff » Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:49 pm

warren oates wrote:
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The best part of the film for me is the way in which it slowly becomes clear that it isn't one of those old style genre films with a lot of red herrings where only one crazy thing ultimately turns out to be true... There is an apocalyptic attack. Goodman's also a creepy killer. The attack involves explosions and chemical weapons. And also aliens!
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Loved this also. Our instinct with films like these is to try to figure out what's really going on. Everything is really going on!
warren oates wrote:
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I just don't believe that Michelle or Emmett would imagine, even with good instructions, they could make a working chem/bio hazard suit and gas mask and then just trust it to ward off whatever unknown and unknowable threat is out there waiting. And I'm seriously confused about the design and layout of a carefully constructed prepper's bunker that wouldn't have an air filtration or alternate emergency exit area that's way more accessible. Did I miss something about why it's not and why she has to crawl through that vent to get to it both times?
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I definitely don't think you missed anything. Those are reasonable "flaws," though I think Hitchcock would deride you as one of "The Plausibles." :) I was willing to roll with the gas mask and bio-hazard suit once they figured out the stuff about the missing girl and realized the extent of Howard's depravity, though I guess just killing him would probably be lowest risk option. The location and inaccessibility of the air filtration unit struck me as pretty absurd too -- just a way of setting up arbitrary obstacles for our heroine and telegraphing her path to escape.

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D50
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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#7 Post by D50 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:26 pm

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It would have made better sense if Emmett had the U.S. Navy experience (with it's CBR chemical biological radiation training), but both grew up with Fukushima, and know about Chernobyl, and also could have read and / or seen The Martian and it's effective use of duct tape.

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warren oates
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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#8 Post by warren oates » Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:45 pm

I kind of like that, D50, since preppers tend to teach themselves a lot of that information and those skills anyway. Here's the huge problem I still have with it though:
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Even professionally manufactured military and laboratory grade chem/bio suits aren't all created equal. How would they have any way to asses the nature of the unknown threat and even speculate about the best case reliability of whatever suit they make?

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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#9 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:59 pm

This was absolutely great.
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Totally embracing the b-movie genre and a filmmaking methodology (yeah, the one it shares with much of Hitchcock's work, his name is coming up in my paragraph on this too) that's mostly gone by the wayside, Trachtenberg and what appears to have been a writing think tank (including Whiplash's Damien Chazelle) manage to be both completely indulgent and entirely fair to the audience, which is quite the tightrope to walk. Yes, there is figurative cake had and it is figuratively also eaten, but it doesn't matter when the surprise is genuine and the direction is so strong - when the dominoes fall here, not one feels like it was urged along unnaturally. The acting is great, particularly from Winstead and Goodman, and it shares with another recent[-ish] great chamber b-thriller, The Mist, a stable sense of space that eventually really begins to wear on one's nerves (in a good way) as the stakes grow higher.

Thought quite a bit about the ending and the film's title - had this just been released as Bunker, say, and the late third act was a complete surprise, would the film work better or worse? I immediately thought better, but the more I ponder it, the more I've concluded that it's a carrot that had to be thrown out, otherwise there's such a thing as too much of a surprise and too much of an abandonment of realism. Since we know in the back of our minds, even if it's not something we're actively considering, what "franchise" this is part of, it allows us to continue to enjoy the ride without stopping to finger-wag or eye-roll, and that made all the difference in totally giving myself away. I loved this movie.

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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#10 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:05 am

This film certainly has me curious as I love claustrophobic bunker films, or at least those where characters get trapped in a single location! (I'm probably one of the few people who thought that Brendan Fraser's character in Blast From The Past had great parents for keeping him locked away for decades!). In particular I'm curious to compare this with Xavier Gens' recent horror on the same subject, The Divide.

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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#11 Post by D50 » Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:47 am

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The explanation by Goodman after the flyover - phase 1 - big hits, round 2 - ground sweeps, reminded me of the Army recruiter scene in Signs:

I've got it figured.

You do?

I've had two separate folks tell me there's been strangers around these parts last couple nights. Can't tell what they look like, cause they're staying in the shadows, covert like. Nobody's been hurt mind you, and that's the giveaway.

I see.

It's called probing. It's a military procedure. You send out a reconnaissance group, very small, check things out. Not to engage, but to evaluate - the situation. Evaluate - the level of danger. Make sure things - are all clear.

Clear for what?

For the rest of them.


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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#13 Post by tenia » Fri Mar 18, 2016 3:53 am

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Yeah well, it also discusses why many thought it wasn't suuch a good ending : simply because suddenly invulnerable heroine destroying a huge-ass alien ship in 4 min with a single Molotov cocktail, everything quite badly shot, isn't remotely as interesting as what we saw before.

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D50
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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#14 Post by D50 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:16 am


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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#15 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:52 am

It tends to be the ultimate fallacy to apply traditional logic to something that literally could not happen.

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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#16 Post by aox » Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:40 pm

This really blew me away, and I loved how it really held its tension from start to finish.

My only problem was (as stated above)
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why would the bunker be designed where the air filter room is inaccessible. I kept waiting for the two kids to ask Howard what he would have done if he was alone, but it got glossed over. But that's OK... not going to let a little ergonomic issue bring the movie down. I also found the drop in the truck from the elevation when she blew up the ship to be a little far fetched.
Great film. And while I know aliens were the center of the first film,
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I didn't know if they would reappear again in this one, and Abrams was just using the "Cloverfield" name as a jump-off for an anthology like film franchise. I guess I'll know better if there is a third film. An alien invasion is clearly the center of this universe.

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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#17 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:11 pm

aox wrote:My only problem was (as stated above)
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why would the bunker be designed where the air filter room is inaccessible. I kept waiting for the two kids to ask Howard what he would have done if he was alone, but it got glossed over.
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Maybe it's always his expectation to have someone small enough to access it in the bunker with him? (As fucked up a thought as that is). There's also the possibility, which doesn't always fly in movie-land where everything is scrutinized, that the character just screwed up and didn't consider the filter might not function any longer.

It's also possible that he did have remote control of it, and sent Michelle in after it as a warning (because he knew that that's where he'd kept the other girl imprisoned, and she'd already seen her picture).

It's, at least, definitely believable that no one asked what he would've done if he was alone, because the guy is fucking terrifying.

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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#18 Post by aox » Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:36 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
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It's also possible that he did have remote control of it
.
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Interesting you bring up a remote. I really thought the whole film was going to be a ruse, with the infected woman just being in the house ready for him to use a remote to an alarm to let her know she was on if the girl tried to escape. And a starter/lights on remote for the car, meaning that whole thing was staged. I really thought the woman was going to play a part in the finale.

The more I think about this film, the more effective I think it would have been if it faded to black after she gets on top of the truck and sees the ship floating over the field in the distance. It didn't ruin the film, but also didn't seem to fit to me.

Thank god Goodman wasn't waiting for her outside or was part of the finale. That would have ruined the film for me

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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#19 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:49 pm

aox wrote:
mfunk9786 wrote:
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It's also possible that he did have remote control of it
.
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Interesting you bring up a remote. I really thought the whole film was going to be a ruse, with the infected woman just being in the house ready for him to use a remote to an alarm to let her know she was on if the girl tried to escape. And a starter/lights on remote for the car, meaning that whole thing was staged. I really thought the woman was going to play a part in the finale.

The more I think about this film, the more effective I think it would have been if it faded to black after she gets on top of the truck and sees the ship floating over the field in the distance. It didn't ruin the film, but also didn't seem to fit to me.

Thank god Goodman wasn't waiting for her outside or was part of the finale. That would have ruined the film for me
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As Tasha Robinson mentions in the piece linked above, the ending partially works so well because it's allegorical for any kidnapping victim/abuse victim's adjustment to a very different life after breaking away from their abuser - it just happens to come in the form of an alien apocalypse that seems to only take 3 or 4 minutes. It's what makes this movie special and even better, in my view - that it had the resources and the savvy to take the concept all the way and still not lose the audience (in this case, the audience is mixed, I'm just referring to myself, basically)

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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#20 Post by aox » Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:53 pm

Interesting perspective. Hadn't gotten to the article yet.

How messed up is it that the first 30 minutes of the film when I was sitting in the theater, all I could think about was that 1CL was the prequel to:
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Room

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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#21 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:58 pm

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In which one's domicile gets much much lousier and their kidnapper gets much much thinner as time goes on

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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#22 Post by jindianajonz » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:23 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
aox wrote:My only problem was (as stated above)
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why would the bunker be designed where the air filter room is inaccessible. I kept waiting for the two kids to ask Howard what he would have done if he was alone, but it got glossed over.
SpoilerShow
Maybe it's always his expectation to have someone small enough to access it in the bunker with him? (As fucked up a thought as that is). There's also the possibility, which doesn't always fly in movie-land where everything is scrutinized, that the character just screwed up and didn't consider the filter might not function any longer.

It's also possible that he did have remote control of it, and sent Michelle in after it as a warning (because he knew that that's where he'd kept the other girl imprisoned, and she'd already seen her picture).

It's, at least, definitely believable that no one asked what he would've done if he was alone, because the guy is fucking terrifying.
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I thought it was shown that somehow the access to the filtration room was blocked. They never went in details as to how, but Goodman tried to open a hatch and couldn't get in. My impression was that something was built over it, or it had corroded shut. Either way, i doubt he had a remote as he could have used it to access the room instead of blindly trying to knife Michelle in the vent.

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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#23 Post by aox » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:39 pm

jindianajonz wrote:
mfunk9786 wrote:
aox wrote:My only problem was (as stated above)
SpoilerShow
why would the bunker be designed where the air filter room is inaccessible. I kept waiting for the two kids to ask Howard what he would have done if he was alone, but it got glossed over.
SpoilerShow
Maybe it's always his expectation to have someone small enough to access it in the bunker with him? (As fucked up a thought as that is). There's also the possibility, which doesn't always fly in movie-land where everything is scrutinized, that the character just screwed up and didn't consider the filter might not function any longer.

It's also possible that he did have remote control of it, and sent Michelle in after it as a warning (because he knew that that's where he'd kept the other girl imprisoned, and she'd already seen her picture).

It's, at least, definitely believable that no one asked what he would've done if he was alone, because the guy is fucking terrifying.
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I thought it was shown that somehow the access to the filtration room was blocked. They never went in details as to how, but Goodman tried to open a hatch and couldn't get in. My impression was that something was built over it, or it had corroded shut. Either way, i doubt he had a remote as he could have used it to access the room instead of blindly trying to knife Michelle in the vent.
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Looked to me he was trying to pull a lever or open a vent no wider than the one she eventually went through. Either way, I got no impression the room was accessible from the main bunker
I just rewatched Cloverfield just now. The new film is infinitely better IMO. Cloverfield is fun, but it's kind of gimmicky and not worth watching twice. I saw it in the theater in 2008, and I seem to recall it being much more subtle when it came to the monsters (besides the little guys in the subway tunnel scene) which was what I thought added some great suspense and mystery as to "what is doing this"? But no, they are the front-piece from the beginning which is kind of a let down which is a shame. Cloverfield really is just Godzilla with a Blair Witch handheld approach.

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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#24 Post by Black Hat » Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:31 am

Horror has been the film genre I've virtually ignored with the last one I've seen I think being The Ring. I appreciate it, see its brilliance, but have no desire to be simultaneously disturbed and terrified. Not sure what it was that made me see Cloverfield, maybe because I heard it described as a thriller making me think it a good choice to ease my way in. I can't speak to the adherences, twists and variations to horror tropes, but I thought this was terrific fun.

Some random thoughts

First (and maybe only?) out of nowhere holy shit moment
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The car crash that started the whole thing. I remember thinking at the time, 'damn I forgot what these movies were like'. The other moment with some of this was when Goodman killed Emmett. It wasn't surprising he killed him, it was surprising how and when he did it. Thought this was a marvelous bit of editing
John Goodman was great in this. I keep laughing to myself thinking so this is how Dan Conner ended up after being married to Roseanne for years. The only way this film could have worked was for him to tower over it and tower he did. I'm not knocking Roseanne either, that show along with Maude and Good Times are the three most criminally underrated all but forgotten American sitcoms.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead's character was shockingly believable in this. Besides not liking to be scared the stupidity of horror lead characters have been too much for me to get down with, but here her character's decisions felt thought out and reasoned.

The other guy was a perfect 'other guy', completely sold his cute but dumb role and embodied the
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it 'sucked he died' dude role
.

My question...
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The other guy gave his sob story about catching the bus, but after he died and she was flipping thru his wallet there was a closeup of his ticket. Was there a reason for this besides making you feel sad at his dissolving corpse? (nice nod to Breaking Bad here)
What bothered me...
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I didn't get the air ventilation system, but what bothered me was how he kept missing her with his knife. He obviously can hear where she's going and even if he didn't her screams would have given it away. I think it would have been better to have ended Howard in the fire, especially since you had the aliens coming up.
As far as the suit and gas mask, wouldn't whether it worked or not have been moot anyway? The air was breathable.
The ending...
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I was surprised when I clicked on this thread to find there's been a backlash. I haven't the foggiest idea why there would be. We were told there was either a foreign attack or aliens so once there were signs of life it seemed clear what was coming up. And what a disgusting, terrifying alien it was.
What ending would have the upset people preferred?
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My biggest issue with the ending was not being clear on why she was she chose to drive down the road she did. To be fair after the multiple orgasm climax I may have been too checked out to pay close enough attention to understand whatever the radio was saying, but still. Anybody else feel this a bit incoherent? If it wasn't only my attention span I think Trachtenberg made a big mistake there because the ending, if I had picked up on it, would have been incredibly satisfying in that moment.
All of this said the ending has me looking forward to seeing its sequel which I would say makes the movie a success.

Whatever the backlash I hope it doesn't discourage the director or Abram's from ending future films like this. Heavily influenced by Breaking Bad, especially the Fly episode, they did good work here with much to be proud of.

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Re: 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

#25 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:06 pm

I also enjoyed this quite a bit, to my surprise, and am glad to see it's largely being appreciated for what it is: a very good B-movie with actually intelligent, engaging characters and a great sense of space, rhythm, and narrative drive. As usual, John Goodman is the best thing in the film, but it's to the director's credit - as well as the tight and disciplined script - that his presence isn't overbearing.
Black Hat wrote:
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I didn't get the air ventilation system, but what bothered me was how he kept missing her with his knife. He obviously can hear where she's going and even if he didn't her screams would have given it away. I think it would have been better to have ended Howard in the fire, especially since you had the aliens coming up.
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Well, Howard did have quite a bit of acid eating into his head at that point, so I can forgive him for being less than on point with his stabbing strategy.
Black Hat wrote:
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My biggest issue with the ending was not being clear on why she was she chose to drive down the road she did. To be fair after the multiple orgasm climax I may have been too checked out to pay close enough attention to understand whatever the radio was saying, but still. Anybody else feel this a bit incoherent? If it wasn't only my attention span I think Trachtenberg made a big mistake there because the ending, if I had picked up on it, would have been incredibly satisfying in that moment.
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You'll probably enjoy it more on a rewatch when not so wrapped up in the plot, as both the radio transmission (re: fighting against the invasion in Houston, where Michelle eventually chooses to go) and, more importantly, her monologue on always running away from her problems pretty clearly establish the significance of that final choice, and add weight to her unwillingness to give up at earlier points in the last third of the film.

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