Cloverfield
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Cloverfield can be found here.

While attending a surprise party thrown for Rob Hawkins' (Michael Stahl-David) impending move to Japan, the party goers are shocked when Manhattan is rocked by an earthquake. Running out in the street in panic, they witness buildings exploding, and Hudson 'Hud' Platt (T.J. Miller) (who is the one carrying the videocamera) thinks he sees a giant monster in the distance. Rob, his brother Jason (Mike Vogel), Jason's girlfriend Lily Ford (Jessica Lucas), another friend Marlena Diamond (Lizzy Caplan), and Hud and his camera decide to get out of Manhattan, but first they must make it to Midtown to rescue Rob's girlfriend Beth McIntyre (Odette Annable), who is trapped under debris when her apartment wall fell on her.

No, Cloverfield is based on a screenplay written by American screenwriter Drew Goddard. The inspiration for the movie was a trip by producer J.J. Abrams and his son to Japan. While there, he noted the iconic nature of Godzilla in toy stores and wanted to create a similar story for America. Early in 2008, a four-part manga called Cloverfield: Kishin that depicts the events prior to Cloverfield was released as an online exclusive.

It's not just some gobbledegook on the reel or DVD that you're watching. Cloverfield is presented as found footage, meaning that the movie footage is from a film or video that was found, that is, not shot by a film crew. The 'found footage' that comprises this movie was supposedly found in Central Park. It was subsequently catalogued by the U.S. Department of Defense under the cover name 'Cloverfield.'

The film footage is attributed to several people. Rob first used the camcorder to film a tryst a few weeks earlier with Beth. Lily passed it to Jason, asking him to film goodbye testimonials to Rob. Jason passed it off to Hud, who films the testimonials and then keeps filming when Manhattan comes under attack.

This fan-made map pinpoints all the key scenes in the film by geographical location. The film is remarkably accurate with regard to geography.

Director Matt Reeves explained in a USA Today article that Cloverfield is the name of the military operation dispatched to battle the monster. This is spelled out in the film, at the very start: "Multiple sightings of Case designate 'Cloverfield.'" The phrase is superimposed over a backdrop that says "US Department of Defense - Do Not Duplicate." Originally, "Cloverfield" was reported to be nothing more than an early working title, derived from the name of a street near J.J. Abrams's office. In an Entertainment Weekly article (Issue #975, "A New York State of...Panic!" 1/25/08), Drew Goddard, the screenwriter for Cloverfield, says the title was his creation. And the meaning behind the title? "I've never told anyone my reasons," he says. "Not even J.J."Matt Reeves, in an LAist interview, confirms that the title Cloverfield did come from Goddard. He says it's a confused version of the name of a corporation Paramount owns.


When we started the project there was going to be an announcement in the trades. In this case, they wanted to keep everything under wraps. So the movie was going to be made under this outside corporation that was basically a property of Paramount. That corporation had a name that I don't know the name of. I think Clover was the first part of it. Maybe it was Cloverdale. When Drew [Goddard] was putting a name to the project, there was supposed to be a name for the project like there was for The Manhattan Project. So he said, "I am going to use that weird mysterious thing," and he misheard it. He didn't even understand that it wasn't Cloverfield, it was Cloverdale. Maybe that was because of the street by J.J.s old office, but the truth is he just misunderstood it.
Why "Cloverfield"? Fans have many ideas, including the notion that the three-toed monster's footprints make the ground he walks on look like a field of clover.

According to the "viral" marketing campaign, the attack takes place on May 22nd and 23rd of 2008. But in the last scene Rob clearly says, "Saturday, May 23," which takes place in 2009. However, the last time May 23rd was on a Saturday was the year 1998. This just so happens to be the opening weekend of the American version of "Godzilla", the last major giant monster movie in America. It could be the film makers were poking fun at that movie, especially when considering the poor reception it had. Efforts to promote the film's release date has further confused matters. On www.1-18-08.com the pictures are dated 1-18-08. The last time the characters logged into their MySpace pages was on 1-18-08 and 1-19-08 as proven by this link.

A promotional CD compilation was given away at one of the release parties for the movie and is called "Rob's Party Mix." This mix is also currently available as a "mix tape" on iTunes. The complete list of tunes from the compilation: (1) "West Coast" Coconut Records, (2) "Taper Jean Girl" Kings of Leon, (3) "Beautiful Girls" Sean Kingston, (4) "Do I Have Your Attention" The Blood Arm. (5) "Got Your Moments" Scissors For Lefty, (6) "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)" Parliament, (7) "19-2000" Gorillaz, (8) "The Underdog" Spoon, (9) "Pistol of Fire" Kings of Leon, (10) "Disco Lies" Moby, (11) "Do the Whirlwind" Architecture in Helsinki, (12) "Grown So Ugly" The Black Keys, (13) "Four Winds" Bright Eyes, (14) "The Ride" Joan as Policewoman, (15) "Seventeen Years" Ratatat, (16) "Wraith Pinned to the Mist (And Other Games)" Of Montreal, and (17) "Fuzz" Mucc. Note that it doesn't include the Timbaland track or Locksley's "My Kind of Lover." The list may be missing other songs as well.

We can't be sure what happened off-camera. The first building we see collapse is the Woolworth Building, located in Downtown Manhattan on Broadway. We see the building while facing directly down Broadway towards the Battery. We don't see anything done to it directly. Its old age, and sunken-caisson foundation, may partly account for its collapse. The Woolworth Building (792 ft.) was the tallest building in the world when it was finished in 1913 and, outside the world of Cloverfield, is still among the tallest buildings in Manhattan. Some reviewers incorrectly identified the Woolworth Building as either the Empire State Building or the Chrysler Building. We never see any damage done to either of them.

No. The movie shows us the actual proportions of the Statue of Liberty. These dimensions are taken from the National Park Service: (1)Head from chin to cranium - 17 feet, 3 inches (5.26 metres), and (2) Head thickness from ear to ear - 10 feet, 0 inches (3.05 metres). The head could easily fit on a city street, even on its side. The whole statue is only 151 feet (46.02 metres) high. The pedestal adds another 154 feet (46.94 metres). The makers of the film cited Escape from New York's poster as the inspiration for the Statue head scene in Cloverfield. However, that film's poster depicts the head as unrealistically large, which might account for the misconception that the head in Cloverfield is too small. Recently, there have been claims that the head is too big. Supposedly, the creators received many complaints of the head looking too small in the teaser trailer, so they increased the head's size by 50% for the movie. If you compare the head in the teaser trailer with the head in the theatrical trailer, it appears larger in the latter.

No. The film was shipped to American theaters under the fake title, Bertha. (In the UK, however, it was shipped under its real title, Cloverfield.)

The camera the characters use is probably supposed to be a Panasonic HVX200. The production team actually used a variety of different cameras, including the HVX, the Sony F23, and the Thomson Viper.


[Director of Photography Michael] Bonvillain used the Viper in FilmStream mode [4:4:4 RGB Data], since some of the trailer footage would be incorporated into the film, recording to tape, but also relied on a variety of other cameras throughout production. We shot with $400 cameras and $80,000 cameras. We used whatever worked for a given scene. Basically, if we could use the [Panasonic] HVX[200], and there were no visual FX, we did. It is really small and felt the most like a small consumer camera. After testing the Viper, the Panavised F900 and the then-brand-new Sony CineAlta F23 at night in downtown Los Angeles, Bonvillain decided to use the F23 for the New York phase of shooting. I found the F23 to be more sensitive in available light situations. Unlike the Viper, which comes back with a green bias that has to be dialed out, the F23 looked a lot more natural to my eye. -- International Cinematographers Guild, "A Monster on the Loose" (Note: Javascript must be turned off or the link will redirect you to the homepage.)
The actual Panasonic HVX-200 video camera supposedly used to film "Cloverfield" was sold on eBay on January 23, 2008, for $4,605.00. The starting bid was $2,500.00. The eBay item number was 130190870984, and the listing was entitled "PANASONIC HVX-200 CAMERA USED ON THE MOVIE CLOVERFIELD". An additional copy of the eBay listing and its photos of the camera can be found here in case the eBay listing link expires. The listing contained the following description:

THIS FANTASTIC CAMERA IS A TRUE 24P HD MOTION PICTURE CAMERA, AND IT WAS USED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE MOVIE "CLOVERFIELD". I was the Digital Imaging Supervisor on the movie, and we used the HVX-200 extensively. "Cloverfield" is shot entirely from a video camera's point of view and THIS is that camera!! I bought this HVX as a backup camera to our main shooting cam. It was BARELY used throughout shooting, as shown by the picture below which lists the Operation and Recording Hours (6 Operation Hours and Not even ONE Recording Hour).

What is the monster?

Producer J.J. Abrams said, "It's a giant monster from the ocean." And he would say no more. The public saw it for themselves on opening night. It vaguely resembles a giant salamander, with gray, scaly flesh and a long, slender fish tail. It has long, gangly forearms like a wingless bat, large hind legs, similar to a grasshopper's in shape, and several pairs of vestigial limbs. What is certain beyond any doubt is that the monster is highly resistant to much of the U.S. Military offensive capabilities: several hours of incessant firing by various infantry, armoured fighting vehicles and aircraft had little to no effect. In his final and only appearance in daylight, the monster looks unharmed. However, in an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Abrams confirmed that the bombs ultimately kill him.

The big monster is not the only monster in the film. There are smaller (likely parasitic) monsters attached to the big one. These look like a cross between an angry shrimp and a camel spider. They are seen clinging and walking on the ceiling in the subway tunnel and can jump with great power when attacking. We see them attacking people throughout the movie. Because the monster seems to fluctuate in size, it is suggested that some of the small monsters are capable of becoming big ones. Director Matt Reeves said that the monster only appears to change its size because of the way it was filmed. "The monster has a pretty consistent size in the film," he says, "even though it's shot in such a way [at the end] that there is a perspective change that makes him look a bit smaller; but it is in fact the monster at his biggest."

Yahoo.com added a one-minute preview video clip of the movie that shows the monster for several seconds up close when the army first engages it early in the movie. The toy manufacturer, Hasbro, released a 14" model of the Cloverfield monster (with two interchangeable heads) that also includes 10 of the smaller parasite monsters with it. IGN added an article complete with photos about the Hasbro Cloverfield toy that was shown at the 2008 Toy Fair. The Cloverfield monster reminds video game fans of Sin, the parasite-shedding beast in Final Fantasy X (2001) and the creatures from the PS3 game, Resistance: Fall of Man (2006).

Abrams says, "The concept for the monster is simple. He's a baby. He's brand-new. He's confused, disoriented and irritable. And he's been down there in the water for thousands and thousands of years." Where is he from? "We don't say deliberately," notes the writer, Drew Goddard. "Our movie doesn't have the scientist in the white lab coat who shows up and explains things like that. We don't have that scene." However, the film gives some clues. You can clearly see an object flying into the ocean behind Rob and Beth in the closing shot, though many internet commentators believe that this is a satellite that was part of the marketing campaign for the film.

In the "viral" marketing campaign for the film, there were hints concerning the "Bloop" incident. Several times during the summer of 1997, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recorded an ultra-low frequency underwater sound using U.S. Navy "spy" sensors 3,000 miles apart. The origin of the sound is still unknown, but the frequency of the sound meant it had to be much louder than any recognized animal noise, including that produced by the largest whales, and much louder than the sounds produced by the Cloverfield monster. Also in the viral campaign were several news reports concerning the destruction of an oil drilling rig, further linking the creature to the deep ocean.

On the website for "Slusho" it says an ingredient in the drink is found in the ocean that can "turn a man into a monster" and also the maker of the drink dreamt that he was "a small fish and when he ate the ingredient he turned into a giant whale".

Information gleaned from the viral game tells us that a Tagurato submarine went six miles under the ocean and found the Cloverfield monster and his parasites. The sub scared the creatures, resulting in the destruction of the Chuio Station and Manhattan.

There is a phenomenon known as deep-sea gigantism. The term means that some creatures, who are relatively small when conceived near to the surface, get progressively larger as they develop deeper and deeper in the ocean. For example, squid are usually a maximum of 60 cm in length, but the Giant Squid, which can reside at depths of over 900 m, can reach up to 13 m in length. As for what kind of creature grew to that size, the monster does somewhat resemble animals in the amphipod order. It could be posited that the monster was disturbed by the oil drilling rig and then followed a tanker ship to the New York harbor (the first thing it destroyed was a tanker ship), where it then proceeded to rip apart the city, finding it a threat. The little creatures that attached themselves to it could be ectoparasites that live on the monster.

One might imagine that the monster's strength, and the toughness of its skin, might be some sort of adaptation to the extremely high pressures of the deep ocean. But this would be wrong, because real-life deep sea organisms do not require such features to survive. As discussed here, it is differences in pressure that are dangerous to organisms, so they will experience no significant problems as long as the liquid in their body is at equally high pressure as the surrounding water, and as long as they have no gas-filled body cavities at lower pressure like humans do. This page says in the "Pressure" subsection that "[w]ith good samples, we now know that deep sea creatures have adapted to pressure by developing bodies with no excess cavities, such as swim bladders, that would collapse under intense pressure. The flesh and bones of deep sea marine creatures are soft and flabby, which also helps them withstand the pressure." As for respiration, while it is unlikely that the monster could breathe the air if it really was a deep-sea organism, the deep ocean is a low-oxygen zone, meaning the monster would have had to develop ways to absorb and process what oxygen it had available, as well as store it for long stretches of time.

If you follow the faux sites such as 1-18-08.com they describe a secret ingredient for a drink named Slusho. This ingredient named Seabed Nectar is found deep underwater under awesome pressure and in freezing temperatures. It is possible that this chemical mutated a deep sea animal and created the monster or that the chemical came from the monster itself.

A normal living organism of ordinary density could not realistically grow to the size of the Cloverfield monster and still be able to support its weight on land. As discussed in Section 3 of The Biology of B-Movie Monsters, if one imagines increasing the size of a creature without changing its proportions, the load-bearing strength of its legs will increase in proportion to their cross-sectional area (meaning that if you multiply the creature's length by N, the legs can bear N^2 times as much weight) but its weight will increase more rapidly in proportion to volume (so if you multiply the creature's length by N, the weight will increase by N^3). This is why larger land organisms need to have proportionally thicker legs to support themselves. And yet, as seen in the movie, the legs of the monster do not appear particularly thick in proportion to its body. A physicist calculates here that a land animal could not grow much larger than 10^5 or 10^6 kg (100 - 1000 tonnes). If it were any larger than that its legs would need to be so thick it would be unable to move. The largest dinosaurs probably didn't weigh much more than 60 tonnes (see here), while the paleontologist Kenneth Carpenter estimates in "The Official Godzilla Compendium" that if Godzilla is imagined to be 100 feet tall, it would weigh around 9,800 tonnes; the Cloverfield monster would presumably be even larger, given that the Statue of Liberty is over 111 feet from its feet to its head, and the base that it stands on is over 150 feet high (see here). If the monster approaches this height, its length must be nearly 500 feet. So, an organism made out of the usual biological materials could not really have the size and proportions of the monster without collapsing under its own weight. In comparison the largest dinosaurs (based on a scattering of remains) would have attained a maximum length of 200 feet and a height of 60 feet. However, one could posit that the monster might be made out of significantly stronger materials than anything found in known earthly organisms; perhaps the tensile strength of its legs are closer to steel or carbon nanotubes than to bone.

They are nothing more than parasites, like barnacles. They have no relation to the monster's species in any way. Matt Reeves confirmed this by referring to the smaller creatures as "parasites" in the Slashfilm interview, "Cloverfield Monster In Detail":


The parasites have a voracious, rabid, bounding nature, but they also have a crab-like crawl, Reeves explains. They have the viciousness of a dog, but with the ability to climb walls and stick to things.

No. Differences in the main monster's appearance, such as color and size, can be explained by lighting and camera angles. In the film, the military refer to just one: "Whatever it is, it's winning." The filmmakers have consistently referred to it as "the monster" rather than "monsters." Director Matt Reeves has confirmed that the way the creature is filmed merely creates the illusion that there are differences in size.

Yes: Media and Entertainment website IGN added an article complete with photos about the Hasbro Cloverfield toy that was shown at the Hasbro 2008 Toy Fair. The following pictures are from the video titled 'The Monster Revealed': (1) Clover's Face, (2) Clover's Face(v2), (3) Clover's Face(v3), (4) Clover's Face (Casual), (5) Clover's Body, (6) Clover's Body(v2), (7) Clover's Body(v3), (8) Clover's Foot, and (9) Clover's Arm.

The coelacanth, an order of fish known from the fossil record and thought to have been extinct since the end of the Cretaceous era (about 70 million years ago), a classic example of what is known as a "Lazarus taxon", a species thought to have been extinct but found to still be alive. The first modern coelacanth was actually discovered off the eastern coast of South Africa (not Madagascar). Today, coelacanths are found in Madagascan waters as well. Some think that the creature Hud mentions might have been the megamouth shark, however, megamouth sharks were not known to science at all and, thus, not thought to have been extinct before being discovered. The first specimen of the megamouth shark was discovered near Hawaii, the other side of the world from Madagascar.

It is about three miles' distance. A person walking briskly travels at about three miles per hour (and most New Yorkers walk even faster). Considering that the protagonists were also in a hurry, they could have made the trip in well under an hour.

There have been several real life incidents of homeless people being set on fire in New York, as well as in other cities across the U.S., but there was no single perpetrator common to such attacks. For example on October 5, 2007, a 48-year-old homeless man, Felix Najera, died after a group of teens set him on fire in East Harlem. On April 22, 1992, three Bronx teenagers set a 60-year old homeless man on fire in a subway stairwell, and six more copycat incidents happened earlier that year in the subway system. On October 7, 1988, 34-year-old Michael Howard died from being set on fire near Penn Station in Manhattan. In May 2001, three teenage boys set fire to 47-year-old Walter Eakman, who was drunk and sleeping in a stairwell, and who died two days later from his burns.

A hammer down protocol (aka 'carpet bombing') is a last resort measure in which a target location, such as a city, town, state or even a country, is completely destroyed using highly explosive detonation devices like nuclear weapons or napalm bombs in hopes of eliminating a hostile entity.

At first, she just feels dizzy. Then she starts to bleed from her eyes and ears, so the military personnel take her behind a curtain while shouting, 'We've got a bite!' Watch closely and you'll see her stomach expand and burst blood all over the wall. Why this happens is unclear. Some possibilities that viewers have suggested include (1) something in the monster's saliva causes her body to create an excess of fluid or gas, (2) the bite injects some sort of anticoagulant that breaks down the blood, causing it to ooze from her eyes and ears and to accumulate in her stomach, and (3) the small monsters reproduce by biting their prey and impregnating them (somewhat like the Alien movies. Note that as she's being taken away by two medics, a rifle is trained on her stomach). Marlena's death is actually foreshadowed when they exit the subway and get escorted to the infirmary. A dead soldier, whose chest and stomach had burst open, is wheeled past on a stretcher. Even earlier, when the monster first attacks, we hear a woman screaming in one of the ambulances. This is followed by some unusual noises. Her scream is loud and piercing; later, Marlena makes the same horrible scream.

Yes. When Marlena is first introduced, the Blood Arm song "Do I have your Attention?" is playing on the stereo at the party. In addition to providing a running commentary on Hud's attempts to pick up Marlena -- "Oh, I'll try it again, despite all your rejection" -- one of the song's lines, audible when the camera is zoomed in on Marlena's head and shoulders, is "Nobody notices 'til someone explodes." Marlena later explodes after being bitten by one of the parasites.

This video shows that directly after the helicopter crash there is a picture of King Kong from the original movie, King Kong (1933). In the static following the short clip of Beth on the train, there is also a picture from The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953). Elsewhere in the film, there is a picture from Them! (1954).

In Russian, the man asks for help finding his daughter and his family. He says he wouldn't want to live without them.

It doesn't. The camera is turned on and off many times throughout the night (a seven-hour period), which preserves the battery life for a cumulative recording time of about 74 minutes. This is well within the reach of a consumer digital camcorder. However, there is the larger question of finding a camera which can record 74 minutes of footage of the movie's quality, and can store 74 minutes of that footage on an SD card (as noted in the movie's opening title card [However, it's possible that the movie was filmed on tape (as said by the characters) and then transferred to an SD card.]).

Few, if any, consumer cameras can record footage which looks like the movie itself. The movie was shot on high-quality HD video cameras, either cinematic cameras or professional handheld cameras (e.g. the HVX-200 camera mentioned above) which give conspicuously high-quality results. The cinematic cameras used to film the movie record on film, disks, or non-SD memory cards. The handheld camera records on either P2 cards (which are not SD cards and also do not allow someone to "record over" footage as seen on the film, and are limited in their capacity) or MiniDV tapes (which provide the capacity and overwriting ability seen in the film but also are not SD cards). The audio quality is also (although authentically degraded) not of a quality expected of a consumer camera.

The camera used in the film is of no specific model. It is probably not the HVX-200 used in filming, as such a camera could not be carried around as easily and used one-handed as seen in the movie. Few consumer or prosumer digital cameras include the active near-IR night vision mode seen in the movie. A number of cameras use SD or cosmetically identical SDHC cards, and can record in a high-definition format for around 100 minutes, but do not meet the video quality requirements of the movie itself. A plausible explanation for the quality of the video? It's not hard to imagine that the military would use the most sophisticated technology at its disposal to "clean up" the footage in order to gather whatever information they could. In summary, the camera's battery life is consistent with consumer digital camcorders in general. The camera's ability to record such high-quality footage for such a time must be chalked up to dramatic license.

It does exist, though it's not strictly an apartment complex. The building is the Time Warner Center, located at Columbus Circle on the southwest corner of Central Park. There are two towers, containing offices and residences, connected to one base which contains a shopping center. It was completed in 2003.

Yes and no. Many New York subway stations receive a faint signal near their entrances, or wherever there are gratings above that open to the sidewalk. Each station is different; but Rob stays fairly close to the stairway when he's on the phone. See the question over when the movie takes place. NYC subway stations should be wired for cellular service by 2009; if that's so, and if the movie really is set in 2009, then it's even more likely that Rob would have gotten a signal. Though it might be coincidental, as the Spring Street station was a film set in California, the actual Spring Street station in Manhattan does receive fairly good reception for cell phone calls.

The monster ordinarily crawls on four legs, and even when crawling is already comparable in height to many Manhattan skyscrapers. The monster has long and powerful back legs, and one theory is that the monster could easily reach much higher by standing up on its hind legs, or by leaping on its hind legs. The monster may have seen the helicopter's lights through the dust, and may have disliked bright lights, especially if the monster came from dark ocean depths. Another theory is that the monster could easily reach the helicopter with its mouth by standing or propelling itself with its front legs. The Hasbro 14" replica toy of the Cloverfield monster depicts it with significantly longer and wider front legs than back legs as seen in this photo

The monster may have paralleled the helicopter's flight path by accident. It seems to attack at a single point as the helicopter takes off; but then it begins walking down a city street as the helicopter flees the scene. There are several possible reasons why the pilot did not alter his flight path away from the monster at that point. More than one explanation could simultaneously apply: (1) the pilot didn't notice the monster's direction of travel; (2) the pilot didn't believe the monster could threaten the crew at that altitude; (3) the altitude of the chopper was only barely above the highest Manhattan rooftops at that point, and it may have still been trying to gain altitude before changing direction; (4) the pilot may have been given orders to evacuate via a fixed route, and the pilot may have been reluctant to disobey his orders; (5) the pilot may have been instructed to stay on his current flight path in order to avoid the risk of being hit by the bombs falling near him from the B-2 bomber above him. The airspace over a battlefield is tightly controlled. Numerous force packages of attack aircraft and bombers are targeting the creature. And there is probably fire from artillery units as well. All of those use parts of the airspace above the battlefield. The evacuation helicopters would have been given certain routes that are free of high speed tactical aircraft; strategic bombers; the ordnance those platforms would be dropping; and the incoming artillery shells. To leave the narrow preplanned flight path would be to invite destruction by an air to air collision or by getting hit by ordnance or incoming fire.

Specifically, does the U.S. Military use a nuclear weapon against the monster? Some reviewers have assumed they do. Although we never see the events after the rubble envelops the camera, the answer would appear to be no, for several reasons:

1. The two explosions that take place outside the tunnel, filling it with debris, appear to be from conventional weapons. A nuclear weapon would have produced a blinding white flash followed by a much larger "vaporizing-effect" explosion. Assuming the military was attempting a direct hit on the monster, and the monster was still nearby (meaning, still in the park with Rob and Beth), then Rob, Beth, the bridge, and the camera would have been completely vaporized, leaving no record.

2. The production team got all their geography and physics right. We can assume that had they intended to suggest a nuclear weapon, they would have portrayed it in the correct way, with the above-mentioned flash. The two distinctly separate explosions reinforce the idea that the filmmakers took great care with their effects.

3. Although the soldier refers to "level[ing] Manhattan," being "prepared to let this whole area go," and "Operation Hammer Down," no one uses the phrase "nuclear weapon." The military may have been prepared to go that far, but there is no evidence that they use nuclear weapons during the events depicted the film. And even if the military had been prepared to use such weapons they do not control the use of nuclear weapons on the ground. It would have required direct Presidential action to authorize the use of a nuclear weapon.

4. The United States government would be extremely reluctant to use nuclear weapons to eliminate a threat on American soil. The blast would kill refugees in the surrounding boroughs and the additional problem of wide spread radioactive contamination, especially from a surface burst weapon, would have been unacceptable unless it was the absolute last resort.

5. There are a variety of large air dropped ordnance that would have been used before the deployment of a nuclear weapon. These include thermobaric weapons and fuel air explosives. Both of these use extremely large amounts of chemicals that rapidly react to produce tremendous quantities of heat and a large blast overpressure. Unlike nuclear weapons they do not produce radioactive fallout and their effects are generally far more limited in scope than most nuclear weapons. The Thermobaric bombs, and extremely large high explosive weapons such as the MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Burst) are guided by GPS so hitting a moving target, even one as large as the Cloverfield monster would be difficult. Other ordnance uses laser guidance so they can hit any target being designated (painted) by the correct type of laser. This includes "bunker buster" ordnance, which are several thousand pound bombs with a thick steel casing designed to allow them to penetrate several yards of heavy concrete before detonating. In addition, seeing as the B2 Bomber's free fall bombs appeared to have some effect on the creature, there is no reason to suggest that a continuous saturation bombing using conventional missiles, artillery and bombs would not also have significant effect.

6. In addition, the two explosions suggest multiple bombs falling upon Central Park. If a nuclear device was being used, it would seem pointless in dropping several bombs prior to the nuclear detonation that some people believe to be the ending. Also, multiple bombings (conventional then nuclear) would require several different jets in the air. In order to drop a nuclear bomb, a specific type of jet is required, to shield it from the EMP (electro magnetic pulse) generated from the bomb. However, the Army may have used nuclear cruise missiles or heavy artillery instead of jets.

7. For the military to "retrieve" the camera (as stated in the opening title cards) from a nuclear blast zone would mean that after the bombing, they engaged in a massive search & recovery effort, which would have meant digging through many square miles of radioactive waste and rubble. Not only is this unlikely in itself, but for them to find and single out the miraculously undamaged footage from what would have been millions of personal effects scattered throughout Manhattan is borderline impossible.

8. Were nuclear weapons used after the events depicted? That's unlikely. Again, a nuclear explosion would have destroyed the recording inside the camera. Even if the blast and fireball did not destroy the camera the electromagnetic pulse would have destroyed the recording.

9. Finally, the smoking gun of the whole debate: in an interview with J.J. Abrams in Rolling Stone Magazine, when RS asked Abrams if the pictures on 1-18-08.com suggested that the monster is killed by the Military, Abrams responded, "Yes, he's dead. Ultimately the bombs kill him". The photographs referred to on 1-18-08.com are a picture of firstly, a picture of Naval Ships and Aircraft advancing out to sea with a sinking ship in the foreground, then another photo with many ships and aircraft bombing an area of the ocean, then another picture of bloody waters, and finally a photo of pieces of the monsters carcass washed up on against the shore. None of these photographs feature any nuclear weapons, only conventional missiles and bombs.

The question does not have a clear answer. Of the main characters -- Jason, Marlena, Lily, Hud, Rob, and Beth -- Jason was killed (according to Rob) when the monster smashed its tail over the Brooklyn Bridge. Marlena certainly dies from a parasite bite that bursts her stomach open. Hud is bitten in half by the monster. Rob and Beth were most likely crushed to death by the bridge rubble, but their fate is open to question. (In an alternate ending, Beth can be heard screaming while someone picks up the camera.) Lily was put on a separate helicopter and never seen again. Therefore, she may have survived, but many viewers think that her helicopter was destroyed along with Rob's.

We don't know. After her helicopter leaves, we don't see her again. One thing that suggests she might have died is that Lily has not logged back into her MySpace account. She has this in common with Hud and Marlena, who both unquestionably died, and Rob and Beth, who probably died. (Note that the real-life MySpace accounts for fictional characters are part of a marketing campaign; and no one is obligated to take publicity into account.) The survival of Lily has at least two arguments in its favor. Or rather, her survival has one argument in its favor and one common argument against it proven wrong. First, Rob lists the persons he saw killed by the monster -- Marlena, Jason and Hud. He doesn't mention Lily, which at least suggests that he believes she's alive. Second, after the second helicopter takes off, we see a flaming mass thrown into a military truck. Many people have assumed that this is Lily's helicopter. But if you look closely it is obvious that the wreck is actually a truck. The mass is too small to be a helicopter, and a pair of headlights can be seen on the front. The special effects featurette on the DVD confirms that the flaming wreck is indeed a truck and not a helicopter (although, again, no one need take into account any evidence outside the film itself).

Yes, the monster bites him in half. As the monster chews him, there is about one second where we can see Hud's legs sticking out between the monster's teeth, right before the monster bites down hard and Hud's top half goes spinning towards the ground. As he falls out of the monster's mouth, we can see his legs above him, still sticking out of the teeth. As the camera falls to the ground, we can see Hud's left hand flailing about in front of the camera; and we can see his face. When the top half of Hud's body lands on the ground, the camera is showing only his head (right profile shot) and shoulders. If you slow down the movie frame by frame, you can see his shadow on the ground, and it is that of an upper torso. (You can see this in the YouTube video link provided below) Hud's fate is foreshadowed early in the movie. Marlena says that she witnessed the monster "eating people." On Hud's official viral Myspace.com page his height was changed on the day following the movie's debut to 2' 6".

Nobody knows for sure; we don't actually see what happens to them when the bridge collapses. The camera gets buried under a pile of rubble after the first explosion. We can see Rob's back. He is hunched over, presumably in an attempt to protect Beth. After the end credits, there is a whisper that sounds like "Help us." When played backwards, it says "It's still alive." Presumably, the voice is Rob's. But because it was Matt Reeves, and not the actor playing Rob, who recorded the message, the identity of the speaker is in doubt.

Look for the splash on the right side of the screen when the camera is looking out over the sea. This scene occurs immediately after the noisy scene where Rob and Beth are bombed while taking shelter under the arch in Central Park. After the bombing scene, the camera cuts to a relatively quiet ocean-and-shore scene filmed from atop a Ferris wheel at Coney Island, then Rob turns the camera on himself and Beth sitting in the caged Ferris wheel car. The object splashes into the ocean during this first ocean footage, a fraction of a second before Rob turns the camera back toward himself and Beth. The falling object occurs on the lower right part of the screen, entering at about a 45-degree angle from the right to the left, passing over the two ships seen on the right, and splashing to the left of both ships, but about a mile farther out to sea than the ships are, aligned between the two telephone poles on shore. A small, dark, stationary, spherical object is positioned in the sea close to shore, but contrary to earlier speculation, that is not the falling object. The falling object's trajectory is black and the object has been described as being black or gray in color. The trajectory is seen for only about a half second, and terminates in a white splash, comparable in size to the size of the two ships.

Though many believe this to be the monster, the story established in the "viral" marketing campaign for the film says that a piece of the Japanese Government's "ChimpanzIII" satellite fell from space into the Atlantic ocean sometime before the monster's attack, so this might be the object seen falling from the sky. Internet rumors say that J.J. Abrams has confirmed that this is what it was, but we have been unable to find an interview or other source for this claim. Director Matt Reaves has also mentioned that there is an object that can be seen splashing down in the final scene. He did not elaborate on what that object might be.

It sounds like "Help us." But the line is backmasked, or played backwards. Played backwards, the line is "It's still alive!" Listen to the reversed line on boomp3.com here. It has been confirmed by the filmmakers that director Matt Reeves spoke the words. It has been speculated that he is supposed to be dubbing for Rob, but it seems just as logical that the voice belongs to an army person, who is monitoring the Central Park bombing, and radios that the attempt failed because the animal survived.

How does the movie end?

Lily, Rob, Beth, and Hud make it to the evacuation spot at 40th and Park. Lily immediately gets whisked away in a helicopter, leaving the other three to board the next one. As the monster bears down on them, they jump into the copter and take off just as a bomb hits the monster, knocking it down. Thinking the bomb has killed the monster, they are devastated when it reaches up and grabs their helicopter, causing it to crash in Central Park. With only 15 minutes until the Hammer Down protocol begins, the four of them regain consciousness. They get free of their smashed helicopter and try to make a run for it, but the monster goes after them. It grabs Hud and bites him in two. Rob grabs the camera, and he and Beth take shelter under Greyshot Arch. The roar of the monster can be heard nearby, so they stay put. Suddenly, the air raid sirens sound, and the air force starts dropping bombs around them. Rob faces the camera and says: 'My name is Robert Hawkins. It's 6:42 am on Saturday, May 23rd. Approximately seven hours ago, something attacked the city. I don't know what it is. If you found this tape...I mean, if you're watching this right now, then you probably know more about it than I do. Whatever it is, it killed my brother Jason Hawkins, and it killed by best friend Hudson Platt and Marlena Diamond and many, many others. We've crashed here in Central Park and taken shelter under this bridge. The military has begun bombing the creature, and we're caught in the middle.' Just as Beth takes her turn talking to the camera, the bridge is hit and collapses in rubble. Rob and Beth cry "I love you !" to each other, then the camera goes dead. In the final scene, the camera displays the tail end of Rob and Beth's day at Coney Island. Beth smiles broadly and says, 'I had a good day.'

One defense of the absence of children and the elderly in the film is that they are less likely to be out at night, especially after midnight when the monster attack begins. The filmmakers would also have had several practical concerns with regard to using children: (1) child labor laws prevent filmmakers from using child models at night; (2) children are more likely to disclose guarded information to the public; (3) children require added efforts to keep them safe; (4) underage models require an additional signature on their release forms, which creates delays and coordination problems; (5) the American public is very sensitive about the depiction of children being harmed or killed in films. However, children and the elderly are not entirely banished from the film. One old man can be seen when the Statue of Liberty's head lands in the street. The crying of a baby can be heard in one stairwell scene early in the film.

Will there be a sequel?

The producers have discussed the possibility of a sequel, or rather a retelling of the movie's premise, noting that there were probably many other movies being shot that night. Abrams pointed out, for example, that somebody is filming next to Hud during the bridge scene and that this moment would provide a natural point for the two movies to cross over. But they say they don't intend to release a film purely on the success of the first--a sequel would have to be in the "spirit" of the original. However, Abrams stated in 2008 that he's more interested in working on new ideas first. Source.

It came out on April 22nd, 2008 in the US, May 21st in New Zealand and May 22nd in Australia. It is scheduled for a June 9th release in the UK. The following are all the currently known editions of the movie: (1) Standard Edition, (2) Steelbook Edition, (3) TJ Miller Video Diary Edition, (4) Rob's Party Mix Edition, (5) Ringtone Edition, and (6) Production Booklet Edition. CloverfieldClues reviewed three of these, giving the Steelbook the highest grade with a solid A. The TJ Miller Video Diary edition received a B+. And the Rob's Party Mix Edition received a B-. The Region 4 DVD, which came out in New Zealand and Australia on May 21st and 22nd, respectively, comes with a One-Disc and a Two-Disc edition. The One-Disc edition has the film, the Director's Commentary and "Cloverfield Supplemental Files" (which are small "Making Of" clips that play throughout the film). The Two-Disc edition contains the first disc from the One-Disc version, plus all of the special features present on the Region 1 One-Disc edition and a few more easter eggs.

The movie gives us no information. In the Manga series, we learn Clover had attacked Japan before it attacked Manhattan. And when the film was released on DVD in Australia, videos of Clover attacking Sydney and Melbourne appeared.

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