2028 Is Now Dominated By Giant Monsters
Whatever happened to our character's perception of reality, what we do know is that Earth in the "present" of The Cloverfield Paradox is now dominated by giant monsters. And we mean giant; the creature at the end is tall enough for its shoulders to stick out above the clouds, making it significantly larger than what was seen in the 2008 film despite similar design.
All this does is highlight that interdimensional travel is not neat, clean, and deliberate; it's violent, unpredictable, and an accident. Creatures are ripped out of their own time and space, which is folding over on itself like a wormhole, and then brought into the setting of Paradox, a powder keg of human conflict which is not prepared for the sudden appearance of a fully grown Godzilla-esque monster, among the potentially countless other monstrosities which are utterly decimating the Earth.
How Does 10 Cloverfield Lane Fit In?
Cloverfield and Paradox link together easily enough thanks to the monster, but 10 Cloverfield Lane doesn't fit in quite as immediately - and some connections don't make total sense. The aforementioned surname, Stambler, shared between the prophetic author in The Cloverfield Paradox and the paranoid survivalist in 10 Cloverfield Lane feels more coincidence than anything else. The same appears to be true of the presence of two bunkers. While Michael does wind up hiding out in a fallout bunker near the end of Paradox and he does live in a similar location to where Howard's doomsday shelter was based in the previous film, they're clearly different locations (although it's possible that's a result of the inter-dimensional bleed and the "Peter" whose bunker Michael visits is an alt-universe Howard).
However, the new film may still explain the 2016 release; it can be inferred that the sudden alien invasion in Lane is a direct result of the interdimensional shenanigans caused by the particle accelerator in Paradox, and that the alien creatures are simply unseen during the events of this latest Cloverfield story.
It's All Connected
Cloverfield is a film saga like few others, in that one's perception of the series as a whole changes with each entry. The original movie was a straightforward monster flick with a found footage twist; 10 Cloverfield Lane established the series as a Twilight Zone-esque anthology series comprising of standalone stories; but then The Cloverfield Paradox, while telling its own, self-contained tale of cross-dimensional rifts, managed to unify the trilogy in a creative and provocative way.
To casual viewers, each film can be viewed as a separate entity, and even Paradox, for all its multiverse-building, is still its own beast. That final shot of the original Cloverfield monster is massive fan service to longtime followers of the franchise, but it's also just an outrageous twist ending all to itself.
The Cloverfield trilogy is complete, but there are still more stories yet to come; Overlord, which is actually Cloverfield 4, is set for release sometime in 2018, and it will surely expand the mythology of the franchise even further, with the series' signature mix of viral marketing, Easter Eggs, and honest-to-goodness plot connections, all within a self-contained story which works on its own merits. The mystery box only grows bigger.
- The Cloverfield Paradox/Cloverfield 3 (2018) release date: Feb 04, 2018
- Overlord (2018) release date: Nov 09, 2018