There are dozens of monster movies out there, but none are quite like Cloverfield. Cloverfield was first released in 2008 and was directed by Matt Reeves. The film was a found footage movie which followed a group of friends who are stuck in Manhattan as a giant monster destroys the city. The film was followed by 10 Cloverfield Lane, which briefly turned the franchise into an anthology series, before The Cloverfield Paradox attempted to tie the series together.
While the sequels were unique in their own way, many people like the first film the best simply because of the mythos behind the giant monster known as Clover. Since there is a huge fan base (especially on the Cloververse Reddit) that has analyzed every tiny detail of the film, some fans truly do know everything about the film.
10 J.J. Abrams Was Inspired by Godzilla
While Matt Reeves directed Cloverfield, J.J. Abrams produced the film and had a huge role in the development of the project. J.J. Abrams has explained that Cloverfield was actually inspired by Godzilla. When Abrams went to Tokyo with his son, they went to several toy shops where Godzilla toys were always present.
The first Godzilla was released back in 1954, but the monster is still prevalent in Japanese culture. Abrams wanted the United States to have a monster that was that iconic, besides King Kong, so he began developing Cloverfield. Cloverfield may not be as well known around the world as Godzilla, but he is still one of America’s greatest monsters.
9 T.J. Miller Actually Filmed Some Scenes
While most movie studios hire professional cinematographers for films, actor T.J. Miller actually filmed certain scenes for Cloverfield. Miller played the character Hud, who filmed most of the events in the film. When Miller wasn’t filming, they had the cinematographers dress up as Hud since his arms and legs sometimes got in the frame when they were running.
The struggle of the film was actually having the cinematographers film things imperfectly since they had been trained professionally for so long. The cinematographers also researched a lot of found footage videos on YouTube, such as the events from 9/11, to really get the vibe of what a found footage movie should look like.
8 Puppets For The Parasites Were Built
While Clover is the main monster of the film, he also had several creatures fall off of him known as Parasites that were around the size of a dog. The Parasites play a key role when the characters are traveling underground through a subway tunnel. The Parasites were all created digitally for the movie, but the special effects department did build puppets for the Parasites.
Scenes were filmed using the puppet, but it was ultimately decided that it looked too silly. Director Matt Reeves did say during a documentary of the film that the puppet was a great acting tool since it showed the cast what the creature looked like and how it would move.
7 That Closeup Shot Of Cloverfield Was J.J. Abrams' Idea
One of the scariest parts of Cloverfield was that you don’t actually see the monster for a good portion of the film. Sometimes the unknown is scarier than straight-up revealing a monster or creature, and that was definitely the mindset for Cloverfield. There are a few decent shots of the monster in the movie, but the best view of the creature came at the end of the film after the helicopter crash.
Right before Hud gets eaten, J.J. Abrams decided it would be a good idea to get a detailed look at the creature. Originally it was just supposed to be a quick jump scare, but Abrams wanted fans to be able to get a good look at the monster that Neville Page created.
6 Mike Vogel Doesn’t Think His Character Died
While several characters in Cloverfield are likely dead at the end of the film, the movie doesn’t actually show a lot of their deaths. Characters like Marlena Diamond clearly died since she exploded from a Parasite bite, but other deaths like Jason Hawkins aren’t really shown.
The last time Jason is seen, he is holding onto a beam on the Brooklyn Bridge when the citizens of Manhattan are evacuating the city. Clover’s tail comes crashing down on the bridge and seemingly crushes Jason, but actor Mike Vogel doesn’t think his character died. On the Cloverfield Blu-ray special features, Vogel says that his character could have survived the attack and could have just fallen in the ocean.
5 Everybody Got Dizzy When Filming In Beth’s Apartment
After Clover was first spotted, most people tried to evacuate the city. Rob on the other hand, wanted to travel back into the heart of the city to rescue his on-again-off-again girlfriend named Beth. Despite telling his friends to let him go alone, Hud and Jessica both go on the journey with him. When they reach Beth’s apartment complex, her building has fallen and has been knocked into the adjacent building.
The crew had to build a tilted set to pull off the scene and it apparently made everybody dizzy who walked on it. The filmmakers described it as a “funhouse effect” since they knew it was just a set but couldn’t help but get dizzy since it looked so real.
4 “Cheese” Was One Of Many Working Titles
Since Cloverfield was a massively secretive project, many working titles were used during filming. One of the working titles for the film was simply “Cheese” to throw off anybody who was watching them film in New York. Despite their best efforts, people recorded them filming Cloverfield and footage quickly released online of Bad Robot’s newest project.
That being said, the crew was so careful about spoilers that many people didn’t even know what the project was about, especially since the first teaser trailer didn’t even have the title of the film. When the trailer premiered in front of Transformers in 2007, the release date 1-18-08 was the only thing actually revealed
3 The First Scene Of Principal Photography Was The Film’s Last Scene
Most people who are into filmmaking know that scenes in a film are very rarely filmed in sequential order. It saves time and money to film scenes that take place near the same location at the same time, which is something that Cloverfield did during production. It was revealed in the special features of the Cloverfield Blu-ray that the first scene of principal photography was actually the last scene of the film and vice versa.
The first scene of the movie was of Rob and Beth flirting in Beth’s apartment, but that was the last scene to be filmed. Likewise, the Ferris wheel scene (which also shows part of a satellite falling from the sky that awakens Clover) was the first scene they filmed.
2 Clover Is Just A Baby
When Neville Page created Clover, he did rough sketches of the creature so that Abrams could interpret the creature the way he wanted to. After the final design of Clover was created, the mythos behind the creature was created. Despite Cloverfield wreaking absolute havoc on New York, he was just a baby according to Page.
The filmmakers thought it was a horrifying idea to have a newly hatched and scared animal unintentionally destroy a city. Because of this, they thought people may feel empathy for the monster since his roars are likely screams crying out for his mother. That being said, if Clover is a baby, imagine how big the mother must be.
1 There Was A Massive ARG For The Film
When it came time to start slowly revealing things about the film, Paramount created an alternate reality game (ARG). The ARG for Cloverfield was very complex and elaborate, but people devoted hours upon hours of time trying to figure out the film.
The main story the ARG developed for the film was that an environmental group called T.I.D.O. Wave caught wind of what Tagruato was really doing with their deep-sea drilling stations and took a stand against them. Several mysterious websites such as jamieandteddy.com were used to fuel the ARG and provide fascinating background information about how Clover was awoken.