In 10 Cloverfield Lane, Howard is a conspiracy theorist but has also kidnapped and presumably murdered a local girl, who he renamed Megan. Was his story about his wife turning his daughter against him true? Did they really move to Chicago? Why did he kidnap the girl? What about him shaving, changing clothes, and bringing ice cream to Michelle and saying "We can do whatever we want now" after murdering Emmett?

In a nutshell, what is his psychological history (backstory) that made him into a paranoid conspiracy-theorist kidnapper murderer?

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    Since nothing of that is shown or explained in the movie, I suppose it just serves to add more mystery to the character. – Luciano Mar 30 '16 at 9:19
  • I think you're right. I was hoping that someone had seen the movie 10 times and picked up on clues & hints that I missed, and could piece together a psychological profile and history for Howard. – BrettFromLA Mar 31 '16 at 0:05

The ice cream thing was creepy, along with his inability to refer to Michelle as a woman.

On first glance, we're meant to think of Howard as kidnapping and murdering the other young woman, as if he were a typical (whatever that means) stalker/murderer.

But I'm thinking that the reality is a little different.

Let's say his wife and daughter did leave, and that contributed to Howard's pathology and need to father a daughter. Perhaps the earlier stint in the shelter, with Megan, was brought on by a perceived threat, that Howard truly believed, that drove him into the bunker. And perhaps he manufactured a crisis with Megan (a la crashing his truck into Michelle's car) so he could "rescue" her.

And he probably did so w/ no intention of killing her, but not surprisingly things eventually soured and she probably ended up the same way as Emmett.

So I think his ideal is that he can protect his "daughter" from all the dangers of the world, possibly including her mother? He clearly wants to be alone w/ his "daughter" in the bunker, and forever wants her to be a little girl. The manifestation of all this is, of course, creepy, but I think in his mind he's being noble. So he would never, say, sexually abuse Michelle, because that would be wrong. Perhaps his coping mechanism there is to continue to see her as a little girl, because as a woman there's too much temptation?

Another thought: it does seem odd that Howard would substitute Megan for an actual daughter, so perhaps the "moved to Chicago" line is a cover. Did his wife have an abortion and move to Chicago? Did she move there while pregnant, so he never met his daughter? Did they both die during childbirth? Perhaps a 2nd viewing would provide some clues.

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    Though it is never clearly shown that he sexually abused Megan or would sexually abuse Michelle, I think there are a few hints towards it? The main one being that immediately after killing Emmett he cleans himself up nicely. Why would someone interested only in a father / daughter relationship do that? He also got SUPER mad when Michelle was (pretend) flirting with Emmett, which could be explained as an overprotective father instinct, but it felt like sexual jealousy to me. – Andrew Whatever Jun 22 '16 at 16:56
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    yeah, the part about "no touching" gave me an anti-sex vibe, which leads me to believe there were some sexual issues in his mind. Then again, there are a lot of fathers who don't want to think of their daughters as being sexual. I would say that it isn't an uncommon "conservative" view. – TruthOf42 Jul 3 '16 at 2:41

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