The Cloverfield Monster Planet
The biggest shock of The Cloverfield Paradox is saved for last. Just as Ava and Schmidt return home from Cloverfield Station, we learn that something even more horrific has been unfolding on Earth: an infestation of monsters. As their escape pod breaks through the clouds, a giant Cloverfield monster bursts upward and gives a full, deep scream.
Evidently, Mark Stambler's predictions have proven more accurate than anybody dared image, with monsters coming over from other dimensions and rampaging across the entire planet. This is teased throughout the film with Michael's B-plot, seeing him slowly uncover the threat and saving a little girl while trying to get word through to both her parents and Ava. Upon first viewing, this is just a flipside compliment (an alternate dimension, if you will) of Ava's arc, with her husband likewise gaining catharsis through the horror, but in retrospect, it's full of repeated hints that something horrific has happened on Earth. The true extent is hidden as part of the final twist, but it's safe to assume we're dealing with a global catastrophe. This is the Cloverfield Monster Planet.
One very important note to make about the monsters is that the one shown at the end is considerably larger than what we saw in the original Cloverfield; that was about 250 feet tall, with long arms that meant it could just about reach as high as a skyscraper. This new monster towers far above that, reaching up into the clouds. It had long been suggested - by both filmmaker comments and the tie-in manga - that the Cloverfield monster was just a baby, and this last shot would seem to confirm that.
The Original Cloverfield Monster's Origin Explained
But while the world in the near future (the ARG places the events of The Cloverfield Paradox taking place in 2028, which the technology appears to line up with) is now ravaged by monsters, that doesn't singularly explain the presence of the baby in New York City in 2008, over twenty years prior. The explanation comes in passing by Stambler; his theory on dimension bleed effects space and time. He suspects that any schism would lead to rifts being created in the past and future, as well as the present nexus point. As such, while the worst impact seems to be in 2028, aliens and other monsters have appeared all along the timeline. The New York incident was a lone case.
What's commendable about this reveal is that while it provides greater context for Cloverfield's monster, it doesn't completely remove the mystery. Stambler outlines several of the most popular options for the monster's origin - extra-terrestrial, sub-oceanic - and the film never tries to go further in clarifying, ensuring the allure of confusion that makes Matt Reeves' found footage movie so enduring remains. It's further suggested that the aliens of 10 Cloverfield Lane came via a similar a method, and that whatever supernatural forces the Nazis are working with in Overlord - recently confirmed to be Cloverfield 4 - are similar inter-dimensional travelers, although against no specific details are provided there.
The Cloverfield Paradox has completely redefined the franchise, extending the series' surprise marketing approach to the actual release of the film, but also providing some sci-fi context to the disconnected adventures. Cloverfield is not, as assumed after 10 Cloverfield Lane, an anthology series akin to The Twilight Zone, but a series of standalone, alternate dimension stories that together tell an abstract story of humanity across the multiverse under threat. Who knows where it goes from here.
- The Cloverfield Paradox/Cloverfield 3 (2018) release date: Feb 04, 2018
- Overlord (2018) release date: Nov 09, 2018