Cloverfield—9 Years Later
Cloverfield (2008) opened 9 years ago last month, precisely January 18, 2008. Granted, most of the $25 million dollar budget was spent on special effects; however, it rocked the box office. The movie grossed over $80 million in the US alone. It raked in over $170 million worldwide. After all these years, Cloverfield endures as a pretty darn good horror/science fiction hybrid.
When a monster awakens and attacks Lower Manhattan, a group of friends set out on a rescue mission capturing the event on a handheld camcorder. Roger Ebert gave it 3 stars. Other film critics enjoyed the simplistic plot catering to the growing YouTube generation. Comparisons to The Blair Witch Project were eventual; however, this movie fares better. According to Rotten Tomatoes, 68% of users liked it. Further, it garnered a solid 7/10 on IMDB.com.
The only negative is the title. Producer JJ Abrams should have spent more time conceiving a better title. Instead, he attempted to shroud the film in secrecy, like the Godzilla-inspired monster. Bad Robot, where Abrams serves as CEO, is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, where there is a Cloverfield Boulevard. A rural landing strip was renamed “Clover Field” in 1922 to honor fallen fighter pilot Greayer Clover, killed in France during WWI. When the city of Santa Monica purchased the airfield from the US Army in 1927, they renamed it Santa Monica Airport. Abrams took the “Cloverfield” exit on his commute and thought it a good temporary name. Ultimately, what was initially the code word for the film became a nonsensical title.
Cloverfield is streaming on Hulu. Despite its name, it’s worth a binge.