Cloverfield

Cloverfield

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Matt Reeves
Produced by J. J. Abrams
Bryan Burk
Written by Drew Goddard
Starring Michael Stahl-David
T. J. Miller
Jessica Lucas
Odette Yustman
Lizzy Caplan
Mike Vogel
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography Michael Bonvillain
Editing by Kevin Stitt
Studio Bad Robot Productions
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) January 18, 2008 (2008-01-18)
Running time 85 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25 million[2]
Box office $170,764,026[3]

Cloverfield is a 2008 American disaster-monster film directed by Matt Reeves, produced by J. J. Abrams and written by Drew Goddard.

The film follows six young New Yorkers attending a going-away party on the night that a gigantic monster attacks the city. First publicized in a teaser trailer in screenings of Transformers, the film was released on January 17 in New Zealand and Australia, on January 18 in North America, on January 24 in South Korea, on January 25 in Taiwan, on January 31 in Germany and on February 1 in the United Kingdom, Ireland and in Italy. In Japan, the film was released on April 5.

VFX and CGI were performed by effects studios Double Negative and Tippett Studio.

Contents

Plot

The film is presented as found footage from a personal video camera recovered by the United States Department of Defense. A disclaimer text states that the footage is of a case designated "Cloverfield" and was found in the area "formerly known as Central Park". The video consists chiefly of segments taped the night of Friday, May 22 and the morning of Saturday, May 23. The newer segments were taped over older video that is visible occasionally.

The first video segment opens when Rob wakes up on the morning of Monday, April 27 having slept with Beth, a previously platonic friend. They make plans to go to Coney Island that day. The footage suddenly cuts to May 22, when Rob's brother Jason and his girlfriend Lily prepare a farewell party for Rob who will be moving to Japan. At the party, their friend Hud uses a camera to film testimonials, and flirts unsuccessfully with Marlena, another party guest. After Beth leaves the party following an argument with Rob, an apparent earthquake strikes, and the city suffers a brief power outage.

The local news reports that an oil tanker has capsized near Liberty Island. Then another explosion causes the party-goers to evacuate the building. They see the head of the Statue of Liberty crash nearby in the street, with several stunning scratch and bite marks. Hud records what appears to be a giant hand of a creature several blocks away. Rob, Jason, Lily, Hud and Marlena, along with a crowd of other civilians, attempt to escape Manhattan on the Brooklyn Bridge. A gigantic tail comes down and destroys the center span of the bridge, killing Jason and others. The survivors flee back to Manhattan as the bridge collapses.

Rob discovers that Beth sent him a message and goes to an electronics store trying to get new batteries for his phone. Hud watches the news, which shows the United States Army's 42nd Infantry Division attacking the monster and smaller "parasite" creatures falling off its body.[4] Several of these creatures are seen attacking soldiers and civilians on the ground. Once Rob gets new batteries, he listens to Beth's message saying she is trapped in her apartment and unable to move.

Going against the crowd, Rob, Hud, Lily, and Marlena venture to Midtown Manhattan to rescue Beth. They are soon caught in a crossfire between the monster and the military, and escape into a subway station. They walk through the subway tunnels but are attacked by several of the "parasite" creatures. Hud is nearly dragged away, and in the process of saving him, Marlena is bitten by one of them. They escape to a small room and come across a Bloomingdale's department store where they are met by a squad of soldiers who have set up a field hospital and command center in the store. Marlena starts feeling sick. One of the personal notices this and the bite and has her taken back behind a large curtain where we can see her silhouette explode. One of the military leaders takes them in a back hall and lets them leave, but tells them when the last evacuation helicopter will depart before the military executes its "Hammer Down Protocol".

The group finds that Beth's building has collapsed against another building. They rescue Beth, who was trapped and impaled on a piece of rebar. The four try to make their way to the evacuation site, where they encounter the monster once more over Grand Central Terminal. Lily is raced into one departing U.S. Marine Corps helicopter. Moments later, Rob, Beth and Hud are taken away in a second helicopter and witness a U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit bomb the monster. The monster falls. Just as Hud declares victory, the monster lunges and attacks the helicopter, causing it to crash into Central Park.

The creature before attacking Hud.

The film skips to less than an hour later, with a voice on the crashed helicopter's radio warning that the Hammerdown protocol will begin in 15 minutes and states that anyone able to hear the sirens is within the blast zone. The three friends regain consciousness and flee the helicopter. As they leave, Hud drops the camera. When he picks it up though, the monster is standing right over him. When the monster notices Hud, it stares at him intently before biting him in half. Rob and Beth repeatedly yell Hud over his dead body.

Rob and Beth grab the camera and take shelter under Greyshot Arch in Central Park as air raid sirens begin to blare and bombing starts. Rob and Beth take turns leaving their last testimonies of the day, which Rob mentions as Saturday, May 23. The bridge crumbles and debris covers the camera.[5] The film then cuts to the footage of Rob and Beth's Coney Island date on April 27. In the distance, unnoticed by Rob and Beth, a large object falls into the ocean.

Cast

To prevent the leaking of plot information, instead of auditioning the actors with scenes from the film, scripts from Abrams' previous productions were used, such as television series Alias and Lost. Some scenes were also written specifically for the audition process, not intended for use in the film. Despite not being told the premise of the film, Lizzy Caplan stated that she accepted a role in Cloverfield solely because she was a fan of the Abrams-produced television series Lost (in which her former Related co-star Kiele Sanchez was a recurring character), and her experience of discovering its true nature initially caused her to state that she would not sign on for a film in the future "without knowing full well what it is". She indicated that her character was a sarcastic outsider, and that her role, was "physically demanding".[6] Ryan Key, the guitarist and vocalist for pop punk band Yellowcard, made a small appearance in the film.

Production

Development

The poster for Escape from New York (1981) inspired the scene of the severed head of the Statue of Liberty in Cloverfield.

J. J. Abrams thought up a new monster after he and his son visited a toy store in Japan while promoting Mission: Impossible III. He explained, "We saw all these Godzilla toys, and I thought, we need our own American monster, and not like King Kong. I love King Kong. King Kong is adorable. And Godzilla is a charming monster. We love Godzilla. But I wanted something that was just insane, and intense."[7][8] There are three still frames in "pre-recorded" sequences, one from the movie Them! one from The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and one from King Kong - these three movies are also cited in the credits.

In February 2007, Paramount Pictures secretly greenlit Cloverfield, to be produced by Abrams, directed by Matt Reeves and written by Drew Goddard. The project was produced by Abrams' company, Bad Robot Productions.[9] The visual effects producer was Chantal Feghali.

The severed head of the Statue of Liberty was inspired by the poster of the 1981 film Escape from New York, which had shown the head lying in the streets in New York. According to Reeves, "It's an incredibly provocative image. And that was the source that inspired producer J. J. Abrams to say, 'Now this would be an interesting idea for a movie'."[10]

Title

The film was initially titled Cloverfield; however, this changed throughout production before it was finalized as the original title. Matt Reeves explained that the title was changed frequently due to the hype caused by the teaser trailer. "That excitement spread to such a degree that we suddenly couldn't use the name anymore. So we started using all these names like Slusho and Cheese.[11] And people always found out what we were doing!" The director said that "Cloverfield" was the government's case designation for the events caused by the monster, comparing the titling to that of the Manhattan Project. "And it's not a project per se. It's the way that this case has been designated. That's why that is on the trailer, and it becomes clearer in the film. It's how they refer to this phenomenon [or] this case", said the director.[12] The film's final title, Cloverfield, is the name of the exit Abrams takes to his Santa Monica office.[11][13] In turn, the road used to lead to the Santa Monica Airport, which originally bore the name Clover Field.

One final title, Greyshot, was proposed before the movie was officially titled Cloverfield. The name Greyshot is taken from the archway that the two survivors take shelter under at the end of the movie. Director Matt Reeves said that it was decided not to change the title to Greyshot because the film was already so well known as Cloverfield.[14]

The film received a subtitle in Japan, where it was released as Cloverfield/Hakaisha (クローバーフィールド/HAKAISHA Kurōbāfīrudo/HAKAISHA?). The subtitle "Destroyer" was chosen by Abrams and was translated into Japanese as Hakaisha (破壊者 lit. "Destroyer"?) by Paramount Japan at his request. The subtitle Kishin (鬼神 lit. "Fierce God"?) was chosen for the manga spinoff, Cloverfield/Kishin, released exclusively in Japan.[15]

Filming

The casting process was carried out in secret, with no script being sent out to candidates. With production estimated to have a budget of $30 million, filming began in mid-June 2007 in New York.[9] One cast member indicated that the film would look like it cost $150 million, despite producers not casting recognizable and expensive actors.[6] Filmmakers used the Panasonic HVX200 for most of the interior scenes, and the Sony CineAlta F23 high-definition video camera to film nearly all of the New York exterior scenes.[16] Filming took place on Coney Island, with scenes shot at Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park and the B&B Carousel.[17] The scenes of tanks firing at the creature while the main characters hide in a stairwell were filmed on Hennesy Street on Warner Bros. backlot in Burbank, CA. Some interior shots were filmed on a soundstage at Downey, California, Bloomingdale's in the movie was actually filmed in an emptied Robinsons-May store that was under reconstruction in Arcadia, California, and the outside scenes of Sephora and the electronics store were filmed in Downtown Los Angeles.[18]

Brooklyn Bridge, as viewed through the film's first-person narrative

The film was shot and edited in a cinéma vérité style,[19] to look like it was filmed with one hand-held camera, including jump cuts similar to ones found in home movies. T. J. Miller, who plays Hud, has said in various interviews that he filmed a third of the movie and almost half of it made it into the film.[20] Director Matt Reeves described the presentation, "We wanted this to be as if someone found a Handicam, took out the tape and put it in the player to watch it. What you're watching is a home movie that then turns into something else." Reeves explained that the pedestrians documenting the severed head of the Statue of Liberty with the camera phones was reflective of the contemporary period. According to him: "Cloverfield very much speaks to the fear and anxieties of our time, how we live our lives. Constantly documenting things and putting them up on YouTube, sending people videos through e-mail – we felt it was very applicable to the way people feel now."[21]

Several of the filmmakers are heard but not seen in the film. The man yelling "Oh my God!" repeatedly when the head of the Statue of Liberty lands in the street is producer Bryan Burk, and director Matt Reeves voiced the whispered radio broadcast at the end of the credits.[14]

After viewing a cut of the film, Steven Spielberg suggested giving the audience a hint at the fate of the monster during the climax, which resulted in the addition of a countdown overheard on the helicopter's radio and the sounding of air raid sirens to signal the forthcoming Hammerdown bombing.[14]

Creature design

Visual main effects supervisor Nick Tom and Phil Tippett's "Tippett Studio" were enlisted to develop the visual effects for Cloverfield.[22] Because the visual effects were incorporated after filming, cast members had to react to a non-existent creature during scenes, only being familiar with early conceptual renderings of the beast.[23] Artist Neville Page designed the monster, thoroughly creating a biological rationale for the creature, even if many of his ideas like "elongated, and articulated external esophagus" would not show up on screen.[24] The key idea behind the monster was that he was an immature creature suffering from "separation anxiety". This recalls real-life elephants who get frightened and lash out at the circus, because the director felt "there's nothing scarier than something huge that's spooked".[25]

Marketing

Before the film's release, Paramount Pictures carried out a viral marketing campaign to promote the film which included viral tie-ins similar to Lost Experience.[26] Filmmakers decided to create a teaser trailer that would be a surprise in the light of commonplace media saturation, which they put together during the preparation stage of the production process. The teaser was then used as a basis for the film itself. Paramount Pictures encouraged the teaser to be released without a title attached, and the Motion Picture Association of America approved the move.[21] As Transformers showed high tracking numbers before its release in July 2007, the studio attached the teaser trailer for Cloverfield that showed the release date of January 18, 2008 but not the title.[9] A second trailer was released on November 16, 2007 which was attached to Beowulf, confirming the title.[27]

The studio had kept knowledge of the project secret from the online community, a cited rarity due to the presence of scoopers that follow upcoming films. The controlled release of information on the film has been observed as a risky strategy, which could succeed like The Blair Witch Project (1999) or disappoint like Snakes on a Plane (2006), the latter of which had generated online hype[citation needed] but failed to attract large audiences.

Pre-release plot speculation

The sudden appearance of the untitled trailer for Cloverfield fueled media speculation over the film's plot. USA Today reported the possibilities of the film being based on the works of H. P. Lovecraft, a live-action adaptation of Voltron (based on a mis-interpretation of the trailer's line "It's alive!" as "It's a lion!"),[25][28] a new film about Godzilla, or a spin-off of the TV show Lost.[29] The Star Ledger also reported the possibility of the film being based on Lovecraft lore or Godzilla.[30] The Guardian reported the possibility of a Lost spin-off,[31] while Time Out reported that the film was about an alien called "The Parasite".[32] IGN also backed the possibility of that premise, with The Parasite rumored to be a working title for the film.[33] Online, Slusho and Colossus had been discussed as other possible titles,[34] as well as Monstrous,[35] although this was dispelled by Abrams at ComicCon.[8] Entertainment Weekly also disputed reports that the film would be about a parasite or a colossal Asian robot such as Voltron.[36]

Visitors of the website Ain't It Cool News have pointed out 9/11 allusions based on the destruction in New York City such as the decapitated Statue of Liberty. The film has also drawn alternate reality game enthusiasts that have followed other viral marketing campaigns like those set up for the TV series Lost, the video games Halo 2 and Halo 3. Members of the forums at argn.com and unfiction.com have investigated the background of the film, with the "1-18-08" section at Unfiction generating over 7,700 posts in August 2007. The members have studied photographs on the film's official site, potentially related MySpace profiles,[37] and the Comic-Con teaser poster for the film.[38] A popular piece of fan art posited that the monster was a mutated Humpback Whale.[25]

Viral tie-ins

Photos on the 1-18-08.com viral marketing website

Unlike most viral campaigns, Cloverfield's marketing had virtually nothing to do with the movie itself, and instead concentrated on a fictional evil Slushy company. Puzzle websites containing Lovecraftian elements, such as Ethan Haas Was Right, were originally reported to be connected to the film.[29][31] On July 9, 2007, producer J. J. Abrams stated that, while a number of websites were being developed to market the film, the only official site that had been found was 1-18-08.com.[39] At the site, a collection of time-coded photos are provided to visitors to piece together a series of events and interpret their meanings. The pictures can also be flipped over – by repeatedly and rapidly moving the mouse side to side. Also, while on 1-18-08.com, if the page is left open long enough, the monster's roar can be heard. Eventually, www.cloverfieldmovie.com was created. The site provided both a trailer and a number, 33287, which, when texted from a mobile phone, provided a ringtone of the monster's roar and a wallpaper of a decimated Manhattan. This eventually turns out to be a Paramount number (people later received material on Iron Man, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Kung Fu Panda, and The Love Guru).[40]

The drink Slusho! served as part of the viral marketing campaign. The drink had already appeared in producer Abrams' previous creation, the TV series Alias.[41] Viral websites for Slusho! and a Japanese drilling company named Tagruato (タグルアト Taguruato?) were launched to add to the mythology of Cloverfield. A building bearing the company logo for Tagruato can also be seen in the TV spot of the eleventh Star Trek film, another Abrams production.[26] When Cloverfield was hosted at Comic-Con 2007, gray Slusho! T-shirts were distributed to attendees.[42] Fans who had registered at the Slusho! website for Cloverfield received e-mails of fictional sonar images before the film's release that showed a deep-sea creature heading toward Manhattan.[43]

Producer Bryan Burk explained the viral tie-in, "It was all done in conjunction with the studio... The whole experience in making this movie is very reminiscent of how we did Lost."[26] Director Matt Reeves described Slusho! as "part of the involved connectivity" with Abrams' Alias and that the drink represented a "meta-story" for Cloverfield. The director explained, "It's almost like tentacles that grow out of the film and lead, also, to the ideas in the film. And there's this weird way where you can go see the movie and it's one experience... But there's also this other place where you can get engaged where there's this other sort of aspect for all those people who are into that. All the stories kind of bounce off one another and inform each other. But, at the end of the day, this movie stands on its own to be a movie.... The Internet sort of stories and connections and clues are, in a way, a prism and they're another way of looking at the same thing. To us, it's just another exciting aspect of the storytelling."[41]

Merchandise

A four-installment prequel manga series by Yoshiki Togawa titled Cloverfield/Kishin (クローバーフィールド/KISHIN Kurōbāfīrudo/KISHIN?) was released by Japanese publisher Kadokawa Shoten.[44] The story focuses on a Japanese high school student named Kishin Aiba, who somehow bears a connection to the monster.[45]

Based on the successful opening weekend of Cloverfield in theaters, Hasbro began accepting orders for a 14-inch (36 cm) collectible toy figure of the monster with authentic sound[46] and its parasites that were shipped to fans by December 24, 2008.[47]

Music and sound

Rob's Party Mix
Compilation album by various artists
Released January 17, 2008
Genre Alternative rock, blues-rock, britpop, electronic, indie pop, indie rock
Length 64:02

Due to its presentation as footage from a consumer digital recorder, Cloverfield has no film score, with the exception of the composition "Roar! (Cloverfield Overture)" by Michael Giacchino that plays over the end credits. Similarities between "Roar!" and the music of Godzilla composer Akira Ifukube have been noted, and it has been suggested that Giacchino's overture is a tribute to Ifukube's work,[48][49] which was confirmed by Matt Reeves in the DVD's commentary track.[14] The sound track was supervised by William Files[50] and Douglas Murray[51] at Skywalker Sound.

Rob's Party Mix or Cloverfield Mix is a collection of the music played in the opening party sequences of the film that was released exclusively on Apple's iTunes store on January 22, 2008 in lieu of a traditional soundtrack album. The Cloverfield score, "Roar! (Cloverfield Overture)" by Michael Giacchino that plays over the end credits[52] is not featured on the album, as it is the mixtape played at the party and is not the official soundtrack of the film. This album was distributed to guests at a Cloverfield premiere party held at the Dark Room in New York City on January 17, 2008.[53]

A complete soundtrack release of all the music in the film, including Giacchino's "Roar!" end title piece, has now also been released exclusively on iTunes; it has not been officially released in retail stores. A CD entitled Rob's Party Mix comes packaged in a special edition of Cloverfield made available for sale in Canadian Wal-Mart stores beginning on April 22, 2008.

Track listing
No. Title Artist Length
1. "West Coast"   Coconut Records 3:32
2. "Taper Jean Girl"   Kings of Leon 3:05
3. "Beautiful Girls"   Sean Kingston 4:01
4. "Do I Have Your Attention"   The Blood Arm 3:35
5. "Got Your Moments"   Scissors for Lefty 3:11
6. "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)"   Parliament 5:46
7. "19-2000"   Gorillaz 3:27
8. "The Underdog"   Spoon 3:42
9. "Pistol of Fire"   Kings of Leon 2:20
10. "Disco Lies"   Moby 3:22
11. "Do the Whirlwind"   Architecture in Helsinki 4:39
12. "Grown So Ugly"   The Black Keys 2:24
13. "Four Winds"   Bright Eyes 2:09
14. "The Ride"   Joan As Policewoman 3:09
15. "Seventeen Years"   Ratatat 4:26
16. "Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games"   Of Montreal 4:15
17. "Fuzz" (ファズ) Mucc 4:47

Reception

Cloverfield opened in 3,411 theaters on January 18, 2008, and grossed a total of $16,930,000 on its opening day in the United States and Canada. It made $40,058,229 on its opening weekend, making it the most successful January release to date. Worldwide, it has grossed $170,602,318, making it the first movie in 2008 to gross over $100 million.[54] Critics mostly praised Cloverfield; as of October 29, 2011, review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 77% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 192 reviews.[55] According to Metacritic, the film has received an average score of 64, based on 37 reviews.[56] And on Spill.com, it got their highest rating of 'Better Than Sex!'.

Marc Savlov of The Austin Chronicle calls the film "the most intense and original creature feature I've seen in my adult moviegoing life [...] a pure-blood, grade A, exhilarating monster movie." He cites Matt Reeves' direction, the "whip-smart, stylistically invisible" script and the "nearly subconscious evocation of our current paranoid, terror-phobic times" as the keys to the film's success, saying that telling the story through the lens of one character's camera "works fantastically well".[57] Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter called it "chillingly effective", praising the effects and the film's "claustrophobic intensity". He said that though the characters "aren't particularly interesting or developed", there was "something refreshing about a monster movie that isn't filled with the usual suspects".[58] Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly said that the film was "surreptitiously subversive, [a] stylistically clever little gem", and that while the characters were "vapid, twenty-something nincompoops" and the acting "appropriately unmemorable", the decision to tell the story through amateur footage was "brilliant".[59] Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that the film is "pretty scary at times" and cites "unmistakable evocations of 9/11". He concludes that "all in all, it is an effective film, deploying its special effects well and never breaking the illusion that it is all happening as we see it".[60]

Todd McCarthy of Variety called the film an "old-fashioned monster movie dressed up in trendy new threads", praising the special effects, "nihilistic attitude" and "post-9/11 anxiety overlay", but said, "In the end, [it's] not much different from all the marauding creature features that have come before it".[61] Scott Foundas of LA Weekly was critical of the film's use of scenes reminiscent of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City and called it "cheap and opportunistic". He suggested that the film was engaging in "stealth" attempts at social commentary and compared this unfavorably to the films of Don Siegel, George A. Romero and Steven Spielberg, saying, "Where those filmmakers all had something meaningful to say about the state of the world and [...] human nature, Abrams doesn't have much to say about anything".[62] Manohla Dargis in the New York Times called the allusions "tacky", saying, "[The images] may make you think of the attack, and you may curse the filmmakers for their vulgarity, insensitivity or lack of imagination", but that "the film is too dumb to offend anything except your intelligence". She concludes that the film "works as a showcase for impressively realistic-looking special effects, a realism that fails to extend to the scurrying humans whose fates are meant to invoke pity and fear but instead inspire yawns and contempt."[19] Stephanie Zacharek of Salon.com calls the film "badly constructed, humorless and emotionally sadistic", and sums up by saying that the film "takes the trauma of 9/11 and turns it into just another random spectacle at which to point and shoot".[63] Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune warned that the viewer may feel "queasy" at the references to September 11, but that "other sequences [...] carry a real jolt" and that such tactics were "crude, but undeniably gripping". He called the film "dumb", but "quick and dirty and effectively brusque", concluding that despite it being "a harsher, more demographically calculating brand of fun", he enjoyed the film.[52] Bruce Paterson of Cinephilia described the film as "a successful experiment in style but not necessarily a successful story for those who want dramatic closure".

Cloverfield appeared on some critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2008. Empire magazine named it the fifth best film of 2008.[64] The prestigious French film journal Cahiers du Cinéma named the film as the third best of 2008.[65] Bloody Disgusting ranked the film number twenty in their list of the 'Top 20 Horror Films of the Decade', with the article calling the film "A brilliant conceit, to be sure, backed by a genius early marketing campaign that followed the less-is-more philosophy to tantalizing effect... much like Blair Witch nearly ten years earlier, Cloverfield helped prove, particularly in its first half hour, that what you don’t see can be the scariest thing of all."[66]

The movie was nominated for four awards: It was nominated for two Saturn Awards for "Best supporting actress (Lizzy Caplan)" and "Best science fiction film". It was nominated for two Golden Trailer Awards for "Best Thriller for Trailer" and "Most original trailer".[citation needed] The film went on to win a Saturn Award for "Best science fiction film". It was also ranked #12 on Bravo's 13 Scarier Movie Moments.[67]

Shaky camerawork

Sign at an AMC theater warning customers by comparing the film to a roller coaster.

The film's shaky camera style of cinematography, dubbed "La Shakily Queasy-Cam" by Roger Ebert, caused some viewers (particularly in darkened movie theaters) to experience motion sickness, including nausea and a temporary loss of balance. Audience members prone to migraines have cited the film as a trigger. Some theaters showing the film, such as AMC Theatres, provided posted and verbal warnings, informing viewers about the filming style of Cloverfield while other theatres like Pacific Theatres just verbally warned guests in detail at the box office about experiencing motion sickness upon viewing the film and what to do if they had to step out and vomit.[68]

The cinematography influences the encoding of the video and can cause compression artifacts to fast motion across the field of view.[69]

Home media release

The DVD was released on April 22, 2008, in two versions: the standard single-disc edition and an exclusive "steel-book" special edition that was sold at Suncoast and FYE retailers in the US and Future Shop in Canada. Other store exclusives include an exclusive bonus disc titled "T.J. Miller's Video Diary" with the DVD at all Best Buy retailers, an exclusive mix CD titled "Rob's Goin' to Japan Party Mix" with the DVD at all Target and Wal-Mart retailers and an exclusive ringtone with the DVD at all Kmart and Sears retailers. Borders also has an exclusive booklet encased with their DVD.

The Region 2 DVD was released on June 9 in both one-disc and two-disc editions. The limited steelbook edition is only available from HMV, while Play.com offers exclusive cover artwork. The HMV-exclusive steelbook contains two discs.

The DVD includes two alternative endings, which vary only slightly. The first alternative ending shows Rob and Beth exiting the Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue station instead of on the Ferris wheel and features different sirens in the background as Rob talks to the camera. In the second alternative ending, just after the final explosion, Beth can be heard screaming "Rob!", followed by a very brief clip of an unknown person looking at the camera (in the commentary, Matt Reeves said that it was one of the crew members) and brushing rubble off the lens. The film then ends with the original final clip of Rob and Beth on their Coney Island date recording themselves on the ferris wheel as the camera tape runs out, with two differences: there is no timestamp in the lower left-hand corner of the screen, and there is an additional beeping tone indicating the end of the tape.[70]

A Blu-ray edition was released on June 3, 2008.[71] It includes a "Special Investigation Mode," as well as all the bonus features of the 2-disc DVD in HD.

Sequel

At the premiere of the film, Matt Reeves talked about possibilities of how a sequel will turn out if the film succeeds.[72] According to Reeves, "While we were on set making the film we talked about the possibilities and directions of how a sequel can go. The fun of this movie was that it might not have been the only movie being made that night, there might be another movie! In today's day and age of people filming their lives on their camera phones and Handycams, uploading it to YouTube... That was kind of exciting thinking about that."[73]

In another interview, Reeves states:

There's a moment on the Brooklyn Bridge, and there was a guy filming something on the side of the bridge, and Hud sees him filming and he turns over and he sees the ship that's been capsized and sees the headless Statue of Liberty, and then he turns back and this guy's briefly filming him. In my mind that was two movies intersecting for a brief moment, and I thought there was something interesting in the idea that this incident happened and there are so many different points of view, and there are several different movies at least happening that evening and we just saw one piece of another.[25]

Reeves also points out that the end scene on Coney Island shows something falling into the ocean in the background but didn't give out details. This may have been either the satellite owned by the fictional Japanese media company Tagruato, or the creature itself.

Producers Bryan Burk and J. J. Abrams also announced their thoughts to Entertainment Weekly about possible sequels. According to Bryan Burk, "The creative team has fleshed out an entire backstory which, if we're lucky, we might get to explore in future films".[74]

Abrams stated that he does not want to rush into the development of the sequel because of the first film's success and would rather create a sequel that is true to the previous film.[74]

At the end of January 2008, Matt Reeves entered early talks with Paramount Pictures to direct a sequel to Cloverfield, which would likely be filmed before Reeves's other project, The Invisible Woman.[75] Reeves now said:

The idea of doing something so differently is exhilarating. We hope that it created a movie experience that is different. The thing about doing a sequel is that I think we all really feel protective of that experience. The key here will be if we can find something that is compelling enough and that is different enough for us to do, then it will probably be worth doing. Obviously it also depends on how Cloverfield does worldwide and all of those things too, but really, for us creatively, we just want to find something that would be another challenge.[76]

In an interview with Attack of the Show, J. J. Abrams had stated that they might abandon the filming style, stating that he and the rest of the crew would like to try something new.[77]

In September 2008, when asked by CraveOnline what the current status is on Cloverfield 2,[78] Abrams stated that at this point, they are still discussing it; however, he still feels reluctant to work on a sequel. In the same interview, Abrams said that they were working on something that "could be kind of cool." When asked if it would take place in a different location, Abrams replied by saying that "It would be a totally different kind of thing but it's too early to talk about."[79]

In January 2011, horror film fan site BloodyDisgusting.com stated that a Cloverfield sequel may in fact never happen. They talked to director Reeves and he said that if he can ever get the time to sit down and talk with Drew Goddard and J. J. Abrams about sequel possibilities they will certainly make a sequel, but due to all three's busy schedules Reeves does not see this happening any time soon.[80]

The film Super 8 was initially reported to be either a sequel or prequel to Cloverfield,[81] but this was quickly denied by Abrams.[82]

In a 2011 interview, Matt Reeves gave an update on the status of Cloverfield 2, saying, "Getting the right idea together has been taking a long time." ... "You are going to see it - we just don't know when [laughs] ... At the moment we are talking about the story quite a lot. Drew Goddard, who wrote the original, is going to pen the sequel and JJ Abrams is very much involved. ... However, the three of us have been so busy that getting the right idea together has been taking a long time." When asked if the sequel will be shot in real-time, Reeves stated "You see, that's a difficult part: we want it to be shot like the first but how can you continue that idea successfully for a second time? ... We have a lot of affection for the original and the sequel can't just be the same thing. But that is tricky when you need to have a monster destroying stuff once again."[83]

See also

  • Found footage (genre)

References

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