And the octane rating only goes up once you get bitten.
Marlena: I don't feel so good.
Much like how the original Godzilla was a metaphor for the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there's a good amount of terrifying 9/11 imagery here.
The fact the movie leads with a title card reading "...retrieved from the area formerly known as Central Park."
They're not revealed in the film itself, but see those tube-like things dangling from Clover's belly? According to behind-the-scenes material, those are essentially elongated mouths with teeth-like fingers that lead into Clover's stomach. Anyone unfortunate to be running underneath them are sucked up and eaten alive. Imagine running for your life, only be sucked up by those things. Or even worse, imagine running with your family, only to watch them get sucked up.
"..which means they're going to let this whole area go..."
"You mean Mid-Town?'
"No, I mean Manhattan."
Just consider how bad things have to be for the government to even be willing to flatten all of Manhattan. The entire situation can be summed up by one line of dialogue from the soldier that rescues Rob and his friends after they ask him what Clover is.
Soldier: If they know, they ain't telling me. But whatever it is, it's winning.
The scene where Hud comes face-to-face with Clover. We don't even get a cheap Jump Scare; he just stares into the camera, takes a sniff, then CHOMP.
Hell, the whole movie is goddamn terrifying. It is extremely relentless, realistic and, worse yet, exactly feels like you're caught in the middle of a monster attack.
Clover itself is scary, but the scariest part of it all? It's a baby.
Babies spook easily, and when Clover gets skittish, buildings crumble. Worse...
There's also the fact that babies have enormous appetites, and in between spooking and running away, Clover has to stop and feed. And it's surrounded by tasty little treats: Us.
Or how pissed Mama's gonna be when she finds her dead baby. Let's hope these things aren't capable of plotting revenge...
Clover's roars are the stuff of nightmares, but special mention goes to where the Hammerdown Protocol rains down on him offscreen. We only have to think about the type of pain it's going through to cause it to unleash a never-ending scream of agony.
As Rob, Hud, and Beth are being evacuated, they watch as Clover is hit with missiles by the military and seemingly goes down. One of the guys cheers, clearly thinking it's over...then a roaring Clover jumps out of the smoke at the helicopter! Possibly the Jump Scare to end all Jump Scares.