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Cloverfield [2008] (1 disc)

Director:Matt Reeves
Writer:Drew Goddard
Composer:Michael Bonvillain
Length:85 minutes
(1 hour 25 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Suggested Event Use:Friday 13
Sorting Category:Susp/Hor
IMDB Rating:7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:78%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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  • Sci-Fi
  • Action
  • Suspense / Horror
  • Drama
  • CG
Available Formats:
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Synopsis: A group of friends venture deep into the streets of New York on a rescue mission during a rampaging monster attack.

Reaction: This is an interesting mixture of the low-budget found footage format with the elevated sensibilities of a special-effect tentpole movie. I enjoy it, but it's a hard watch.

Personal Rating: 7/10

Matt Reeves => Director / Radio Announcer (voice) (uncredited)
Drew Goddard => Writer
Michael Bonvillain => Composer
Anjul Nigam => Bodega Cashier
Baron Vaughn => Party Goer
Brian Klugman => Charlie
Charlyne Yi => Party Goer
Jessica Lucas => Lily
Lizzy Caplan => Marlena
Margot Farley => Jenn
Michael Stahl-David => Rob Hawkins
Mike Vogel => Jason Hawkins
Odette Annable => Beth McIntyre (as Odette Yustman)
Pasha D. Lychnikoff => Russian Man on Street (as Pavel Lychnikoff)
Rick Overton => Frantic Man
Scott Lawrence => Lead Soldier
T.J. Miller => Hud
Theo Rossi => Antonio

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • After the closing credits there is a mysterious broadcast voice. When played in reverse, the broadcast says, "It's Still Alive."
  • Hud was originally going to survive, but producer J.J. Abrams suggested having him being eaten by the monster, allowing the audience a somewhat vicarious experience. The scene was then planned as having Hud being eaten instantly after turning around, but it was decided that the audience deserved a good look at the monster, which resulted in the longer shot with the monster leaning down to inspect Hud before biting and killing him.
  • According to Neville Page, creature designer, the monster is a baby in a new environment, "spooked" and looking for its mother.
  • It was originally intended for the Brooklyn Bridge to be destroyed by one of the monster's hands, but it was decided that this seemed too deliberate. It was changed to the monster's tail destroying the bridge, which seemed more accidental.
  • Laetitia Casta Cameo: Model in the poster inside the Sephora shop exterior where Lily, Marlena, Rob and Hud stop after running from the Brooklyn Bridge, before Rob enters the electronics store.
  • The track built to serve as the underground tunnel was not very long, so the cast had to walk for a bit while shooting then turn around and walk the other direction to create an illusion that they were walking down a long subway tunnel. Overhead lighting was moved around to add to the illusion. Matt Reeves was told the rats used in the tunnel sequence were the "best rats in the business." He was also told they were the "Pirates of the Caribbean rats." Reeves, who had never worked with animals before, was worried about time constraints. To his surprise, the rats worked well.
  • According to visual effects producer Annie Pomeranz, puppets were used in the scene involving the "parasites" inside the tunnel. The scene turned out to be more interactive than originally thought, and CGI animation was required. However, director Matt Reeves said that the scenes with the puppets were too "goofy".
  • T.J. Miller, a stand-up comedian, was chosen for the role of Hud due in large part to his ability to improvise quickly. Director Matt Reeves felt this allowed the film an added sense of naturalism, since they didn't have to stick to a set script or dialogue. Originally, Lily's "testimonial" to Rob was going to be a straight testimonial screenwriter Drew Goddard had written, but Reeves felt that, like the non-traditional movie that Cloverfield is, the scene shouldn't begin and end as expected. He would have Miller throw random dialogue to engage the actors or catch them off guard.
  • The title was initially a codename for the movie. It's named after Cloverfield Boulevard in Santa Monica, California, where the Bad Robot production offices were located while making the film.
  • Images from King Kong (1933), The Beast from 20, 000 Fathoms (1953), and Them! (1954) are hidden within the film. Each image is seen extremely briefly, for only a single frame, during a camera edit. The "Them!" picture is shown at 00.24.06, the "Beast from 20,000 Fathoms" picture is shown at 00.45.27, and the "King Kong" picture is shown at 1.06.55. A brief clip of Rob and Beth at a train station is seen with the "King Kong" image at 1.06.51.
  • About 104 recorded people left the theater due to dizziness and motion sickness.
  • Film debut for T.J. Miller.
  • The only "score" composition for this film is an instrumental piece by Michael Giacchino played over the end credits, titled {"Roar! (Cloverfield Overture)"}. This composition was intended to evoke the score of classic monster movies (specifically the original Godzilla theme). Roar! was not included on the soundtrack CD (which was packaged as a mix CD of music from Rob's surprise party), and as of 2011 has not been officially released on CD, but it was included when the soundtrack collection was later released on iTunes.
  • The DHARMA Initiative logo, a fictional research project featured in the television series Lost, can be seen briefly at the start of the film.
  • Most people took issue with how one of the main characters, Rob, could use his cell phone in the subway station. This, however, was a savvy case of Truth in Television, since the MTA is actively wiring subway platforms for cell service, specifically so riders can use their phones during emergencies. Indeed, after much of Manhattan had been smashed into oblivion, the subway station might be the only place where you can still get cellphone service.
  • The head of the Statue of Liberty is shown about 50% larger than actual size. CG supervisor David Vickery said in an interview that many people imagined the head being much bigger than it actually is, and that the size was increased due to complaints that the head looked too small in the trailer.
  • The first trailer for this movie played before Transformers (2007). It showed a giant explosion in the heart of New York City and the Statue of Liberty's head being thrown down a street. It was shot with a hand-held video recorder. There was no title.
  • The running time of the film, without credits, is about 80 minutes, the length of a long-running MiniDV tape, a common format used in consumer camcorders.
  • Lizzy Caplan thought this was a romantic movie until her second audition, where she read a scene. After she was offered the role, she found out it was a monster movie, and the actors weren't allowed to read the script until after they signed on.