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Five Fun Things You Might Not Know About Cloverfield

At the time of writing this post, all of us here on Dread are beyond excited to check out 10 Cloverfield Lane this weekend. A large source of the excitement comes from the fact that we have no idea what to expect from the film, and in fact we didn’t even know it was a thing until a couple months back. In a world where we know everything before it happens, that’s quite a treat.

The secretive marketing campaign is very similar to the one that got us all excited about Cloverfield back in 2008 – another film, connected to the new one, that remained somewhat of a mystery until the day it was unleashed on the big screen. That made the theatrical experience so very exciting, and it didn’t hurt that the movie lived up to every ounce of hype we all put into it.

Of course, now that it’s been nearly a decade since Cloverfield was released, hardcore fans pretty much know everything there is to know. But on the off chance that you maybe haven’t delved as deeply into the movie as we have, we wanted to regale you with five little factoids you might have missed. If you already know these things, don’t blame us for your rabid fanaticism!

Oh and don’t miss 10 Cloverfield Lane, in theaters March 11th.

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King Kong

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The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms

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One thing we can almost guarantee you didn’t notice while watching Cloverfield for the first time is that director Matt Reeves worked in loving tributes to three giant monster movies from the past, and they flash on the screen so quickly that you need to ride the pause button to even find them. At three different points, the camera filming the action cuts out and brief snippets of Them! (1954), The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), and King Kong (1933) are cleverly spliced in. You’ll find them at 24:06, 45.27, and 1:06:55.

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The poster art for John Carpenter’s Escape from New York famously featured the head of the Statue of Liberty lying in the streets of New York. The provocative image caught the eye of a young J.J. Abrams, though he was disappointed to discover that the scene didn’t actually appear in the movie. As Abrams noted in Cloverfield‘s production notes, which leaked before the film came out, he always wanted to see that image come to life on the big screen, and that desire proved to be a large source of inspiration for the 2008 monster movie.

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To the best of my knowledge, Cloverfield was the first giant monster movie to utilize the “found footage” style, and the technique made the film so immersive that the theatrical experience has been compared to an amusement park ride. Several theater chains, including AMC, had both posted and verbal warnings on the weekend of release for potential-ticket buyers, letting them know that they “may experience side effects associated with motion sickness similar to riding a rollercoaster.” And yes, many theater-goers did indeed experience migraines, motion sickness, and a temporary loss of balance while watching Cloverfield on the big screen. Proof that found footage, in the right hands, can take a movie to a whole different level.

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In interviews around the time of Cloverfield‘s release, director Matt Reeves teased the film’s sequel potential, noting that Hud and friends weren’t the only ones who made a “home video” on the night the monster attacked New York City. Reeves hinted that a future sequel could tell an entirely different story from another point of view, and there’s one moment in the film (seen above) where he consciously gave us a brief glimpse of another one of those stories.

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,” Reeves told Coming Soon back in ’08. “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.”

Now THAT is a fun idea.

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Speaking of sequel teasers, there’s another one at the very end of Cloverfield – and it was hidden in such a way that it required a little deciphering. In the final moments of the film, Rob and Beth take shelter under an arch in Central Park while the monster is being bombed by the military, and the fate of the beast is left unknown as the credits roll across the screen. But if you continue watching through the credits, you’ll hear somebody whisper “evila llits sti.” When played backwards, the man is clearly saying “It’s still alive.”

Will the monster appear in 10 Cloverfield Lane? We can’t wait to find out.

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