Cloverfield’s rampaging monster’s always had a mysterious origin, but the film’s director confirms the creature’s exact nature.
J.J. Abrams’ Cloverfield hit movie theaters 15 years ago, with the Kaiju, found-footage film surprising audiences after a months-long marketing tease. The nature of the monster rampaging through New York City, though, has long been mostly a mystery, but the film’s director has revealed the filmmakers always had a definitive origin for the creature.
“For sure we did,” director Matt Reeves told SyFy. “Because you have to figure how to direct the monster, so to speak. So you have to understand what’s going on with them emotionally. And for me, the big secret was that the monster was a baby and was experiencing separation anxiety.”
“The reason the monster was freaking out is because they were having fits based on looking for their mother,” Reeves said. “And so, [the monster] was just as afraid as the main characters, because it seems like there would be nothing more terrifying than the human element fighting this giant monster element and, actually, both of them are just terrified. That’s a mess. That’s not good. So that part of it was absolutely something that we talked about in the development of the creature and in terms of how I shot it.”
In Cloverfield, a homemade recording for a celebratory farewell party becomes a horrifying chronicle of the monster’s destructive and deadly rampage, and a group’s attempt to survive the destruction. Prior to the movie’s release, the exact nature of the threat was unknown, with only a teaser image showing a headless Statue of Liberty and a burning Manhattan skyline leaving audiences guessing. Throughout the film, though, the creature’s alien origin went unacknowledged, with only a brief moment in flashback showing a falling object containing Cloverfield’s monster falling from the distant sky providing any sort of clue.
“It’s alien,” Reeves confirms. “In fact, at the end of the movie, you can see the moment when it comes to [Earth]. It’s another one of those little Easter egg moments, but when we revisit that footage where they’re on the Ferris wheel at the end, you can see the meteor flying down and hitting the ocean. That’s actually the beginning of the baby being on Earth.”
Cloverfield’s 2016 sequel 10 Cloverfield Lane was the first to officially reveal the threat was an alien invasion, but the largely unconnected film didn’t specifically address its predecessor’s alien antagonist, nor any other events in the original movie. Only the film’s title gave any indication the movie was a sequel at all.
A third film, The Cloverfield Paradox, debuted on Netflix in 2018, with a fourth Cloverfield movie reportedly in the works.
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