Spoiler Points for Cloverfield (2008)

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Spoiler Points for Cloverfield (2008) [PG-13] 90 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $12.00
DVD Release Date: 22 April 2008 (click date to purchase or pre-order)
Film's Official WebsiteFilm's Trailer
Click to read the non-spoiler review
Click to see photos from the Premiere of Cloverfield

Spoiler Points:
• At Rob's going away party which opens the film, Lily (Jessica Lucas) reveals to Hud (T.J. Miller) that Rob (Michael Stahl-David) did have intimate relations with Beth McIntyre (Odette Yustman) a while back. And this then provides some greater understanding into why he's torn about her showing up with Travis (Ben Feldman) at his party. On the one hand, he's loved her since college, on the other according to his little brother Jason (Mike Vogel) she's way out of his league. So, to finally get her, maybe there's something mutual, and then to have to leave to go to Japan for this dream job of a lifetime, well, he's conflicted.
• As the creature starts to attack the city, the partygoers end up on the street just as the head of the Statue of Liberty comes crashing into their street. They are all nearly killed, but most of the core of the group ends up in a convenience store out of harms way. Marlena (Lizzy Caplan) doesn't make it into the shop. After some time passes, they go back out to the street and find her covered in debris, traumatized, but alive. They decide to get off the island via the Brooklyn Bridge.
• Mid-bridge, Rob receives a frantic call from Beth indicating she's scared and trapped in her apartment in Mid-town. He stops to try to listen to her and get the details. Good thing because the creature attacks the bridge. Unfortunately, Jason is lost to the collapse and attack. Everyone else who stayed back to get Rob to hurry up was saved. They all go back, but Rob decides its his mission to save Beth.
• He tries to talk Hud, Lily, and Marlena out of coming with him, but they elect to stick by him. He makes idiotic decisions eventually landing them in a subway tunnel when their efforts to head to mid-town are thwarted by the Army's assault on the creature. Once in the tunnel's station, Rob receives a call from his mother, and he has to explain to her that Jason is dead. He's not dealt with this emotionally at all until this point as he's been too focused on saving Beth. Of course, he has no proof that Beth is still alive or that her building is even still standing.
• As they proceed through the tunnel they encounter the attacking creature's minions, giant spider-like nasties that devour people up in a jiffy. Some how they fend off these beasts with only Marlena getting bitten badly. They escape into a worker's lounge and regroup. Eventually, going stir-crazy, Rob suggests they head out again and above ground to see if they can get their bearings. They come out into a department store and end up in the hands of the Army. Before they get too far, Marlena starts to feel dizzy. Blood pours out her eyes. She's spotted by a nurse who yells, "Bite". She's whisked into a holding tent and then explodes, blood splattering everywhere. Rob pleads his case to be released to find Beth. For some reason, the Army guy relents to his wishes to be let out to find her. He also tells them that the military plan is to blow up the city if the creature cannot be stopped soon. He gives them a pick up location and the time of 06:00 hours.
• They arrive at Beth's building to find it leaning next to a building that used to be across the avenue. Hud foolishly suggests they go up in the straight-standing building and see a crossover point into Beth's building above her floor. Rob loves the plan and in no time they've climbed to the 52nd floor or so where he finds they can cross over and then go down to her apartment on the 37th or 39th floor. It's scary, but they cross between the buildings as planned. Hud leaves his final words on the tape in case he doesn't make it. They get to Beth's apartment and, miraculously, she's alive. They save her in the nick of time as they also then get back to the other building before the creature returns. They have to battle a few of the spiders in the stairwell.
• They get to the drop off point safe and sound. Lily gets on the first helicopter. The rest wait for the next one. Once airborne, they get a their first look at the creature. It's big and horrifying seemingly not of this world. Nothing seems to stop its relentless rampage. Just when they think it's defeated by an onslaught of small missiles, it arises and slashes down the helicopter sending it into a tailspin. It crashes in Central Park (recall the opening military disclaimer which stated the tape was recovered from the area once known as Central Park). They survive the helicopter crash. Hud continues to tape the entire event. Unfortunately, his zeal lands him dead, half eaten by the creature who we get to finally see for a few split seconds up close with evil face and expanding and contracting pinkish air bags on the side of the head. Rob and Beth run with the camera under a bridge where they hide out until they are killed by its collapse.
• That's not the end, though, we get one more scene off the tape, that of old footage that was not recorded over of Rob and Beth at Coney Island.

Points of Discussion:
• Unconfirmed: Some people are saying that if you watch this scene of Coney Island, a meteor can be seen in the background flying into the water. This has not been confirmed. If it is true, it would make the film's story make more sense as it would be a necessary clue to the origin of the creature as, perhaps, an egg traveling through space that lands in our ocean and incubates for hatching into this beast.
• What's up with the spiders? They are mentioned in a newscast to have been seen falling off the main beast. Are they tag-alongs or a part of the real creature?
• How did the vid-cam's battery and tape last so long? Why wasn't the non-relevant footage edited out by the military? Why would they care about all the stuff regarding the pre-party antics?
• So, we are watching this exactly film how? Was it uploaded to You Tube™ from people who got it using the Freedom of Information act? Did Lily sneak in a steal a copy?
• Was the story deep enough for the film to be considered a success? Was it more high concept in its attempt than it should have been or needed to be—in other words did the end justify the means?
• Why was Rob so easy to let go of Jason (didn't see him jumping off the bridge to save his little brother or look for him at least) but would do anything to try to get to Beth whom he couldn't know was even still alive?
• Was it too contrived that Beth turns out to still be alive?
• Were the spiders necessary?
• Was it satisfying to leave the ending as it was without explanation?
• Is Cloverfield a classic, a cult-classic, or just a big waste of time?

Please leave your comments, ideas, conclusions, and reactions below in our moderated forum of comments. Please do use your language carefully to ensure your comment will be posted.

Update: 19 January 2008
The Internet is all a buzz with a flurry of analyses regarding the ending.

One site has posted what is supposedly the reverse playback of the message that is delivered after the credits. When played backwards, it says, "It's still alive". This could be something that somebody concocted. More and more people, however, are claiming, just as is mentioned above, to have seen a big, black object streaming out of the sky into the water off Coney Island. There is all sorts of fun speculation regarding different endings being shown in different parts of the world. Thus far, none of these things has been absolutely verified beyond a shadow of a doubt, yet these rumors are prompting speculation of a sequel of sorts that might either be the same story from a different perspective and / or what happens next in the chronology. One of the best claims yet is that the press kit announces that the creature is a baby that was disturbed at the bottom of the sea by a falling satellite. All of this, of course, support the money-making engine and Internet sensation that is Cloverfield.

2 comments:

kittielynz said...

I dunno...I thought it was a great movie even though I hate movies that don't really explain things. There were a few too many "coincidences" or whatever for it to be really believable though. Beth would have bled out after being pulled off that pole and I argue that the Army nurse or whoever shot Marlena to "contain" whatever mutation was going on. The blood splatter was far to small/centralized to be a full body explosion. With the sudden ending and backwards whispering, it seems like they are trying to leave it open for a sequel if this movie does well. I'd be happy if he just did a piece about what the creature was and where it came from. As for the spiders, of course they weren't necessary but something had to chase them where the monster couldn't reach, right? I'd also love to know what would have happened to Marlena. Was she carrying some parasite? Possibly mutating like a licker from Resident evil? Something obviously happens otherwise they wouldn't have reacted like that. All in all it was very interesting but too open. There was a bit too much "party plot" and not enough monster plot, if that makes sense. One of the things my friends and I wondered is will there be a sequel/prequel, or will they make another movie of the same time but with a different person's camera/perspective? They showed many people with many cameras so it's a possibility. Perhaps a small series or something composed of home/gov't vids that provide more insight and explanation. All right thats enough from me but I can't wait to see what other people think or what info comes out in the next few weeks.

hybridphoenix said...

Even though Abrams said he liked that people could either draw the conclusion that she was shot, or exploded, if you watch the DVD versions, or version that are slowed down, you clearly see her expanding. And the Audio clip at the end has been confirmed.

I'm fairly certain they did some editing, because the first time I saw the movie, it just looked like a small splatter, to the likeness of her being shot in the head, but some versions show the expanding and a lot of blood.