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Film / Cloverfield

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"My name is Robert Hawkins... Approximately seven hours ago, some...thing 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."

Cloverfield is a monster movie released in 2008 co-produced by J. J. Abrams, written by Drew Goddard, and directed by Matt Reeves.

The film follows a group of New Yorkers as they attempt to rescue the girlfriend of protagonist Rob Hawkins (Michael Stahl-David, The Black Donnellys) during an attack by a massive building-sized creature. The film is seen through the perspective of Hudson "Hud" Platt, Rob's friend, who is carrying around a camcorder throughout the film, documenting the events from his perspective.

The movie was shot fairly cheaply for a budget of roughly $25 million, is seen fully through the aforementioned point-of-view perspective, and features homages to older movies (e.g. the Statue of Liberty's head rolling down a Manhattan street was inspired by a poster for John Carpenter's Escape from New York).

The film has a Spiritual Successor in the form of 10 Cloverfield Lane — in spite of using the Cloverfield title, the movie itself is not a direct sequel, but shares many of this film's themes. The third film in the series, The Cloverfield Paradox, provides an explanation as to how they're all connected (even if it's only a minor part of the film itself).

In 2018, the proof-of-concept film Megan was released. Basically acting as a pitch for where the series could go in the future, it aims to tie together elements of the original film, 10 Cloverfield Lane, the ARG, and the comics, but ignores The Cloverfield Paradox.

On January 29th, 2021, news of a direct sequel written by Joe Barton materialized. As of this writing, there is no cast attached, but Babak Anvari (I Came By) is attached to direct. It is not expected to follow the found footage format of this film.

Note: There were rumors for a time that Super 8, directed by Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg, was a prequel. It is actually an unrelated film, though this hasn't stopped Wild Mass Guessing from fans who have noted similarities between the monsters in both movies. Similarly, at one point, the director of A Quiet Place (John Krasinski) considered having his movie tie in with the Cloverfield multiverse, but opted against such a plan. Overlord (2018) was also rumored to be a part of this franchise, but this was Jossed by JJ Abrams, who stated that a "true, dedicated Cloverfield sequel" was in the works at Bad Robot.

Cloverfield provides examples of:

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  • Abhorrent Admirer: Marlena does not appreciate Hud's interest in her at first, but they become closer throughout the film.
  • Action Girl: When the protagonists are attacked by Clover's ticks in the subway, most of the characters run, apart from Marlena, who beats the shit out of one of them with a pipe.
  • All for Nothing: Much of the group dies during the mission to save Beth, only for her to likely die anyway during Hammerdown Protocol.
  • All There in the Manual: Information about the monster's possible origins and what happened immediately before the movie are all in the viral marketing campaign.
  • Always Save the Girl: Rather brutally deconstructed. Rob's sole motivation in the film is to save Beth. This results in the deaths of all of his friends and himself. And she doesn't make it anyway.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Clover. Apparently, there's evidence to support both claims.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The entire film.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The entire film is one big Reconstruction/Deconstruction of Kaiju films.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The camera. The monster almost never appears in full field of view or for very long because the camera is always panning away for some reason or another. Or no reason at all.
  • Bat Scare: Non-winged example: a horde of rats runs toward, then right past, the main characters when they venture into the subway tunnels. The rodents don't attack, but they are running from something else...
  • Behind the Black: Tanks sneak up on the camera. And eventually the creature itself.
  • Big Applesauce: The movie is set in New York City.
  • Big Bad: Clover is causing all the destruction, though he's not doing so out of malicious intent.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Very bitter. Yes, the threat of Clover is seemingly eradicated via Hammerdown Protocol, but the whole of Manhattan goes with it. By the end, almost every main character is either dead or implied to be dead.
  • Book Ends: The movie starts at 6.30 am one month prior, after Beth and Rob have their night together; it ends at 6.30 ish when the monster gets Hammer Downed, with Beth and Rob dying together, chronologically. We also see Beth's apartment before the monster kills it.
  • Call-Back:
    • Jason, Rob's brother, says something about "cherishing moments no matter how fleeting", and Rob does it.
    • Marlena also mentions the monster eating people, and then it ate Hud.
  • Camera Abuse: Subverted; athough the camcorder held by Hud suffers from both numerous drops and the detonation of an Earth-Shattering Kaboom, it — or at least the video tape — still survives.
  • Camera Fiend: Hud keeps filming throughout the night, capturing the full horror of Clover's rampage.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Lily only tells Jason and Hud about Rob and Beth sleeping together if they promise not to tell anyone else. Cue Hud telling everyone at the party about them hooking up.
  • Crisis Point Hospital: The group are taken to a makeshift field hospital bursting with wounded soldiers being treated ASAP; however, rather than treating people who've been bitten by the crawling monsters, all the medical personnel can do is stand by and wait for the Ludicrous Gibs.
  • Dada Ad: One of the hidden special features on the DVD is an ad for Slusho and... ye gods...
  • Damsel in Distress: Rob's (and subsequently the group's) whole ill-advised foray into the city was to rescue his girlfriend Elizabeth.
  • Daylight Horror: Hud gets chewed up by the monster in broad daylight.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Marlena does some snarking as the disaster goes on.
    Hud: Maybe this thing is from another planet.
    Marlena: What, like Superman?
  • Deconstruction:
    • Instead of focusing on the monster pounding other monsters' faces in or wrecking the military, you're given the perspective from ordinary people... which makes one realize how horrific the bog-standard giant-monster movie plot would be if it really happened, which brings it back to its original form. Gojira, often considered the first Kaiju film (and certainly the reason we use the Japanese word), is a very dark movie with long, lingering shots of the destruction and the long term injuries he caused.
    • The very idea of a kaiju in itself is deconstructed as well; instead of being a supernatural beast, an allegorical character, or an out-of-this-world being, Clover is at his core a normal animal reacting to things the way any other animal would.
  • Determinator: Rob is absolutely intent on saving Beth, despite the fact a giant monster is in the middle of levelling the city, the military is going to annihilate the whole city in a few hours to try and kill it, and his friends are gradually killed off in the rescue attempt.
  • Deus Ax Machina: When the group is ambushed by a parasite on their way to a stairwell, Rob was lucky to find a nearby fire axe and use it to kill the creature.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: The party is disturbed by a loud boom at 17:35. It's something of a relief for some viewers when the monster finally appears.
  • Diabolus ex Nihilo: Unlike most giant monster movies, this one doesn't bother explaining the creature's origin, since the main character's viewpoint is too low on the ground. Thus, no scenes with generals or scientists standing around providing exposition. It just shows up and rampages around New York City.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Hud can do little but watch in horror as Marlena dies horribly and messily in front of him.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: According to the developers, the Brooklyn Bridge scene was changed from a hand destroying the bridge to a tail knocking it down, because they wanted to imply that Clover was doing its damage to the city unintentionally.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Several critics have brought up the large amount of 9/11 imagery used in the film.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Hud spends the first half awkwardly trying to hit on Marlena.
  • Dwindling Party: Jason is killed when the bridge collapses, Marlena is killed by a parasite, Lily is evacuated, Hud is bitten in half by the monster, and Rob and Beth are caught in the nuclear explosion that kills it.
  • Easter Egg: As points out, the monster's face was actually hidden in the movie poster months before the movie came out.
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: Rob is faced with this dilemma when the disaster situation kicks off, and he can't get hold of Beth to make sure she's alright. Everyone needs to get out of the city immediately so it can be nuked, but Rob gives that up to go on a suicide mission to find Beth. Rob's friends won't leave him, so they go too. Emotions prevail. Everyone except possibly Lily, is killed.
  • The End... Or Is It?: After the credits, there's a broken sound recording of Rob saying "Help us". When reversed, it sounds like he's saying "It's still alive".
  • "Everybody Dies" Ending: Presumably averted with Lily, although the movie never actually confirms this.
  • Fake–Real Turn: Meta-example: a lot of the posters for Escape from New York showed the decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty lying in the street, an amazing shot which never actually appears in the movie itself. This movie's poster, on the other hand, isn't lying; all these years later, Cloverfield finally delivers on the other movie poster's broken promise.
  • Final Girl: Possibly Lily, and also Beth in an alternate ending.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: When the gang arrives at the field hospital, we see a body with a horrendous injury to the stomach being wheeled past the camera; someone mentions it being from 'another bite', telling the observant viewer exactly what's in store for Marlena.
  • Flashback Cut: Due to the fact that the "tape" that is the movie is being filmed on is taping over video from an earlier day, so when the video camera is paused and restarted bits of the original video remain.
  • Foreboding Fleeing Flock: As the protagonists travel through the subway, they encounter a huge swarm of rats that are all running in the opposite direction, and for good reason. So the gang start to walk faster.
  • Foregone Conclusion: It says right at the beginning that the video was recovered in Central Park. That doesn't bode well for the characters, being still in the middle of New York.
  • Found Footage Films: The movie's style.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The very last shot of the film, depicting one last home video, shows something falling into the ocean in the distance for a split second. Word of God is that this "something" is a satellite, the descent of which woke Clover up in the first place. It was later said that the "something" is the monster falling to Earth, indicating it's an alien.
    • It is hard to make out the fact that Hud gets his legs bitten off by the monster unless the scene is watched in slow-motion.
    • During moments of camera damage, stills from King Kong (1933), Godzilla, and Them! are hidden amid the static.
    • During Marlena's death, at most people will catch a squelching sound and her blood being sprayed, but if you slow it down, you see the shadow of her body not only visibly swell but after it bursts you can see that all that's left of her midsection afterwards is probably her spine.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: Three boys (Rob, Jason and Hud) and three girls (Beth, Lily and Marlena).
  • Giant Equals Invincible: In typical kaiju fashion, nothing the army throws at the monster is able to do more than annoy it. Even the Hammerdown Protocol, which is either carpet bombing or outright nuking the entire island of Manhattan, seems to have failed to kill it.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: From behind an arch, Hud watches a tank desperately fire rounds at Clover, only to see a soldier frantically fleeing from the tank, just before Clover's foot squishes it, soldiers and all.
  • Gilligan Cut: Hud asks Lily why she wouldn't tell him that Rob and Beth slept together. Hud immediately tells the first random person that he sees and keeps spreading it.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The Hammerdown Protocol — the soldier tells the group that the government is willing to "let this whole area go" — meaning MANHATTAN.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Semi-averted. You get a nice, big, gooey spatter of body parts... from behind a screen.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Every utterance of "Oh my god!" in this movie would easily be "fuck" in a real-life situation, and the only reason it isn't is because it would've lost the movie its PG-13 rating.
  • Got the Whole World in My Hand: Tagruato's logo.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: The ARG makes continuous references to the Tagruato corporation's old name, 力の手, in kanji. Always. Yes, even in the middle of otherwise English text.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Hud, though nothing too graphic is shown.
  • Helicopter Flyswatter: Near the end of the movie, the monster takes down a helicopter full of evacuees.
  • Hellish Copter: The main characters manage to board evac choppers at the dawn of the second day of the disaster. Needless to say, Clover smacks down the one Hud is on.
  • Hero of Another Story: The commentary refers to one background character, who happens to be recording the carnage like Hud, to be a potential one. Along with her, there are many people attending the party who go their separate ways after the attack. The ARG sheds light on a few others — there's a girl slumped over on a couch at Rob's party. It turns out she's hungover after downing a bunch of the Super Serum that may have been involved in Clover's creation. The serum was sent to her by her boyfriend, an Eco-Terrorist never seen on screen who is trying to take down Tagruato, the corporation that accidentally unleashed Clover. The ARG also followed a few of the partygoers up to the night of the party.
  • High Heel Hurt: Downplayed. Lily gets stuck in heels due to Clover arriving in the middle of a surprise party. Although she doesn't complain, as the film goes on and she has to do things like walk several blocks and run through a subway tunnel in them, she begins to limp visibly, and finally gives up and just takes her shoes off.
  • Hope Spot: Twice. After rescuing Hud's best friend's love interest, and the monster appearing to die, though people know the latter's going to go wrong.
  • How We Got Here: Not entirely. Between filming the events, we see a previous recording of Rob and Elizabeth waking up after sleeping together the previous night and going to Coney Island. As we learned later on, Rob totally ignored Elizabeth after that day and was planning to leave to Japan for his new job. The movie and the recording ends with them on a ferris wheel looking towards the ocean where something has fallen into it.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: Twice in the same scene. Lily says she'll tell Hud and Jason why Rob and Beth are so angry at each other if Hud turns off his camera. The next cut is her telling them that Rob and Beth slept together before he decided to move, and Hud's camera is still on but hidden on the floor. Lily then makes the two of them swear not to tell. Cut to Hud telling nearly everyone at the party about it.
  • It Began with a Twist of Fate: The film would have been very different had Rob not insisted on going to save his girlfriend. While NYC was in the middle of an attack by a giant Eldritch Abomination.
  • It's The Only Way To Be Sure: The Hammerdown protocol.
  • Jitter Cam: Justified by the concept, but the film still took flak for triggering motion sickness symptoms in audiences.
  • Jump Scare: See Smoke Shield below.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: The fate of those who get bitten by a parasite. Poor Marlena.

  • Kaiju: Though whether it's a mutant, a reawakened prehistoric monster, or an alien is never explained.
  • Made of Indestructium: The freaking camera. It still isn't gone by the end, surviving longer than the humans do. When Clover eats Hud, the camera falls 70 feet, lands on the ground with a thud, and carries on running!
  • Male Gaze: When Hud is filming Lily's goodbye to Rob, he instead focuses the camera on Marlena in the background.
  • Matchlight Danger Revelation: As soon as the night-vision goes on, there are parasites right behind them. Justified, because they turned on the night-vision in response to hearing the parasites.
  • Meaningful Background Event: See Freeze-Frame Bonus and How We Got Here above.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Hud's name is a play on the term "heads-up display", typically found in first-person games.
    • For Cloverfield, some sources say it's a reference to the monster leaving behind clover-shaped footprints, turning Manhattan into a "cloverfield". Also, clovers are the first plants to grow back in an area after a nuclear strike, which makes a lot of sense if you tend to the theory that the mysterious "HAMMERDOWN protocol" that was deployed against the monster was a nuclear weapon.
  • Monumental Damage: The Statue of Liberty, if the commercials didn't clue you in. The Brooklyn Bridge gets smashed, too, and so does the Empire State Building. The creature clambers over Grand Central Station in one shot, although it's unclear how much this damages the building.
  • Monster Delay: A principle aspect of the movie and its marketing was showing as little as possible. For most of the film's runtime, you see only very brief, dark, out-of-focus, and jittery shots of small portions of the monster. Only in the last five minutes is the monster shown fully, in daylight, and close-up.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: Inverted. The monster's a baby looking for his mommy. Not that there's even the slightest hint of it in the movie.
  • Mood Whiplash: Intentionally done. Hud was accidentally taping over a cutesy video of the Official Couple and a few times when he stops the tape, it cuts to about 30 seconds of sweetness between them.
  • Newscaster Cameo: NY1's Roma Torre.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The movie came out in January 2008, and dialogue suggests it is set in May 2009 (Rob says the date is "Saturday May 23", which it was in 2009).
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: Clover the monster. Nothing the military throws at it seems to hurt it; bullets, tank rounds, guided missiles, even a bomb run by a B2 bomber only manages to stun it for a moment. However, it did not survive a Nuclear Weapon. Word of God says the creature came from the deep ocean, where its strong hide protected it from the extreme water pressure.
  • Night-Vision Goggles: The camera's night vision mode becomes useful during the subway sequence.
  • Non-Malicious Monster:
    • If Word of God is to be believed, the monster itself is not purposely trying to cause trouble — he's just lost and wants to go home. It does intentionally eat people throughout the film, though.
    • It also attacks since it's confused and frightened, it being only a lost, scared baby animal, after all. (Awww... poor thing!)
    • The same can probably be said of the parasites that fall from Clover's body; they do go around killing everything they see, but don't seem to be more than hungry animals suddenly pried off their element.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • The times when the characters (and audience) know the monster is out there but not in sight can be very frightening and tense.
    • The moments leading up to Hud's death are nail-bitingly tense, considering that they consist solely of Clover eyeing down a terrified Hud and not doing anything.
    • Also applies to the movie as a whole — nobody (including the military) knows where Clover came from, no one knows why it's here, all they know is that there's a massive, dangerous monster destroying the city and they need to get the hell out of the city before it finds them.
  • Not Listening to Me, Are You?: A variation. Lily suspects Hud isn't even pointing the camera at her when she's saying goodbye to Rob.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: No one says "monster" or even compares Clover to any other Kaiju or monster movie through the entirety of the incident. Blame copyright.
  • Nuke 'em: How they try to kill Clover in the end. It either fails or succeeds but draws in its mother.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Hud's reaction to Marlena crying blood.
    • Everyone gets this when the monster sneaks up on Hud and just stares at him. Then it eats him.
    • Even the very beginning gets a bit of an Oh, Crap! from the audience when "Area formerly known as: Central Park" pops up on the screen, foreshadowing just how badly New York is about to get trashed.
  • One-Woman Wail: Used in "Roar!", the theme playing over the credits.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Beth is found impaled on a pole in her apartment. She's pulled off it and suffers no problems at all for the rest of the film.
  • Pipe Pain: When the group is being attacked by the parasites in the subway, Marlena saves Hud by attacking one of the parasites with a rusty broken pipe. Unfortunately this opens her up to get tackled from behind by another parasite and bit.
  • Police Are Useless: Averted, the NYPD and emergency services apparently respond quickly and managed to organize the evacuation of Manhattan fairly efficiently.
  • "Pop!" Goes the Human: Anyone's fate when they get bitten by the parasites/ticks, we get a good look at a corpse blown up as a Five-Second Foreshadowing for Marlena's fate.
  • Post-9/11 Terrorism Movie: The 9/11 imagery is all over the place during the monster's attack. At one point, a party-goer questions if an explosion that happened downtown is the work of terrorists.
  • Product Placement: Nokia cellphone batteries become so important to one character that he loots some from an electronics store; Nokia is also the company that places ads to keep you company in those stressful desolate subway room scenes. Nokia phones are vital to the plot. Not to mention thirst-saving, parasite-blocking Mountain Dew. Also, Hud's Nikes get an extended shot at the end.
  • Proportionately Ponderous Parasites: The flea-like creatures that live on Clover, which are roughly dog-sized and capable of hunting humans.
  • Punny Name: The main "cameraman" of the film is named Hud, a reference to "heads up display", an overlaying feature of camcorders, which is abbreviated as H.U.D.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The ending. Thanks to the bombing, Clover is dead... but so is everyone in Manhattan. Even worse...Clover might have survived HAMMERDOWN. Subverted on the last one. J.J. Abrams confirmed that Clover is dead. On the other hand, if this was only a baby... what's gonna happen when Mama finds out?
  • Reality Has No Soundtrack: Has no non-diegetic music, except for the end credits.
  • Red Herring: Much of the marketing for the movie focused on a fictional Japanese drink known as a "Slusho". In the film proper, it has nothing to do with the story, nor is the extensive backstory provided by the marketing mentioned at all, and it's outright contradicted by the ending and the sequels.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: The Statue of Liberty head is, according to IMDB, about 50% larger than actual size because audiences thought the true-to-life size head in the teaser trailer looked too small.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite the military lockdown on pretty much everything, one soldier not only explains everything to Rob but lets him slip out the back to find Beth.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Because the film follows the perspective of a small group of random civilians, the nature of the monster is left explained. All they know is that it's big and it's wrecking up the city. Word of God has provided a few more details however.
  • Rule of Perception: In the end, the monster just shows up, practically on top of the protagonists in Central Park, yet no indication of its approach is given beforehand, like the fact that the ground quakes when it walks, and it tends to clumsily destroy the surrounding environment wherever it goes. Partly justified, since they're very disoriented after surviving a helicopter crash. Indeed, if you pay attention to the background as they are tending to Rob, you'll notice the remains of the helicopter (in particular a rotor stuck in the ground) gradually shake more and more with Clover's approach.
  • Scenery Gorn: The movie thrives and thrills itself on absolutely destroying New York City.
  • Sequel Hook: Pointed out by Abrams himself, being that during the bridge crossing you can see another individual with a camera trying to record everything. Not so much a sequel hook as a possibility for Once More, with Clarity!. Additionally, some static after the credits that may be resolved into "It's still alive!".
  • Shock Party: Escalated up to eleven: Rob's party turns into a monster invasion on Manhattan.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The reason everyone stayed in NYC was to help Rob save Beth. And then Beth and Rob get nuked. So much for that, then. Did I mention that everyone else is either dead or their fate is left uncertain?
  • Short-Lived Aerial Escape: Our heroes finally manage to get on an evacuation helicopter after their long ordeal. And then the monster whacks it out of the sky.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The music at the end especially, though during the blurring moments of the camera, they snuck in frames from Black and White monster movies King Kong (1933), Them!, and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. The film itself is inspired by Godzilla and other, similar B Movies.
    • "Roar!" is one big shout out to the work Akira Ifukube did on the Godzilla films. The extensive use of brass was a signature part of his style, and it has been said that the piece is very Godzilla-esque.
    • There's the blink-and-you-miss-it Dharma logo in the very, very beginning.
    • Spongebob Squarepants can be seen playing on a TV.
  • Silent Credits: For a minute or two, at least, then the above music starts up. The credits song, "Roar", has such a quiet build that it's barely audible until about a minute in.
  • Sinister Subway: The protagonists are attacked by the tick monsters in an abandoned subway. Prior to this, Hud mentions a story he heard about a person who would light homeless people on fire in the subway; the rest of the characters understandably tell him to shut up.
  • Skewed Priorities: Subverted. During one scene, a group of bystanders are shown looting an electronics store in the chaos, but eventually they all stop to stare at the live news report on the televisions showing the military attempting to fight the monster.
  • Slipknot Ponytail: Lily's hair gradually comes out of its bun after the monster attacks.
  • Smoke Shield: As the characters get on an evac helicopter, they get front-row seats to Clover being bombed and disappearing in a cloud of smoke. Thinking the monster has finally been killed, the characters begin rejoicing...only for Clover to jump out of the smoke with a roar and down the helicopter.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: invoked To Snakes on a Plane, another horror movie from two years prior about monsters/killer animals that was promoted heavily via internet-based Viral Marketing, in both its marketing campaign and in the film itself. Snakes on a Plane was a goofy Horror Comedy set in the small Closed Circle of a passenger jet that fully leaned into and embraced its B-Movie stylings, and promoted itself with humorous memes and let internet culture do a lot of the work for it. Cloverfield, meanwhile, was a very serious, straightforward horror flick that took place across New York and relied heavily on Nothing Is Scarier, promoted with a cerebral Alternate Reality Game that the marketing team kept tight control over.
  • Spiritual Successor: The movie itself is considered to be one to The Blair Witch Project. In fact, many critics referred to it as "The Blair Witch Project for the MySpace generation."
  • Steel Eardrums: Averted. The protagonists are clearly visible holding their hands over their ears when a platoon of soldiers (complete with tank) comes rolling down the street and opening fire on Clover.
  • The Stinger: "Help us...", or if reversed, "It's still alive."
    • Zigzagged: Clover is dead, but something much worse has come...
  • Super Cell Reception: Most people took issue with how one of the main characters 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.
  • Tears of Blood: "Hud? I don't feel so good..."
  • Together in Death: Rob and Beth (probably) die after professing their love for one another, in a military bombing aimed at the nearby monster.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Rob's insistence in heading across the city instead of evacuating got not only himself but all his friends killed off one at a time through various disasters and monster attacks. His friends are guilty of this too. They choose to accompany Rob even though he points out that they could just evacuate without him.
    • Hud would have lived had he not gone back for the camera. Even more ridiculous is that he somehow failed to see the monster until Rob and Beth's screaming called attention to it, despite the fact that he was facing towards it.
    • Instead of getting away from the monster as fast as possible using the most direct route, the helicopter pilot chooses to circle around the monster to watch it get bombarded with missiles. This puts them in range for when the monster lashes out and causes them to crash.
  • The Unreveal: You pretty much don't know any more about the monster at the end of the movie than you did at the start.
  • Upper-Class Twit: The main characters are mostly this. Late 20s yuppies living in extremely expensive areas of New York City who seem woefully unprepared for any kind of survival situation. Hud especially is just Too Dumb to Live the way he continually risks peoples' lives (and ends up sacrificing his own) for the sake of catching the action on camera.
  • Viral Marketing: The first previews of this movie were very mysterious and didn't give much away. This together with other techniques like setting up a convincing fake website, made for very effective viral marketing which was still sort of a fresh idea at the time.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Beth leaves the party with Travis, but he's nowhere to be found when the group finds Beth. Bonus material states that he was able to escape to New Jersey in time, however.
  • Word Salad Title: "Cloverfield" is the in-universe designation for the events of the movie, but there's no confirmed source on what, if anything, it has to do with the plot itself. Although the monster was given the production name "Clover" from the title. The name probably came from Cloverfield Boulevard, a street that Abrams passed frequently driving between the studio and his house.
  • Worst Aid: Beth is lifted off the rebar she's impaled on, though she suffers few medical consequences for it.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Marlena, who had been poisoned by one of the mini-monsters, is rushed into a curtained-off quarantine area seconds before she seemingly explodes. This is obscured by the curtain, though, so we only see a silhouette, but it's still fairly graphic.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: When they get into the helicopter and start flying away, you almost think the movie is about done.... only for a very pissed-off monster to attack the helicopter.
  • Your Size May Vary: The monster is portrayed for most of the film as being skyscraper-sized and able to easily crush a tank underfoot, but near the end it's able to grab a single person with its mouth, which doesn't kill them instantly and is also somehow not swallowing them whole.

"Help us..."note