Director Matt Reeves’ 2008 film, Cloverfield, was a surprise hit, grossing over $170 million at the box office against a $25 million budget. The ingenious monster movie featured a memorable cast, including Michael Stahl-David, Jessica Lucas, Lizzy Caplan, T.J. Miller, Odette Annable, and Mike Vogel, as they navigated the chaos and destruction caused by the massive monster attacking New York City.
Cloverfield and Godzilla: Two Titans of the Monster Movie Genre
The 2008 monster film Cloverfield and the iconic Japanese franchise Godzilla share similarities in their depiction of monstrous creatures and the impact they have on society. Both franchises feature massive creatures that wreak havoc on urban environments, providing a sense of awe and destruction. Cloverfield focuses on a single monster attacking New York City, while the Godzilla franchise features multiple giant monsters, known as kaiju, attacking various cities.
Director Matt Reeves has confirmed that the movie’s alien creature was heavily inspired by the $2.5 billion dollar franchise, Godzilla. In a recent interview with MovieWeb’s Tim Kraft, Reeves shared the source of inspiration behind the film, revealing that the movie was heavily influenced by the iconic franchise, Godzilla.
“Totally. Yeah, I mean, that was that was definitely the inception of the movie was to do Godzilla on the ground view”
The Godzilla franchise has been running since 1954, and its latest installment, Godzilla vs Kong was released in 2021. The franchise has evolved over the years, but it has always centered on the titular monster, Godzilla, and the devastation he causes as he battles other kaiju. The franchise also explores the human response to the monster attacks, often highlighting themes of nuclear war and environmental destruction.
Cloverfield is a standalone film, but it has also spawned a franchise with a couple of movies, 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Cloverfield Paradox, which were released in 2016 and 2018 respectively. Both movies take place in different settings and timelines but still manages to connect to the first movie. Cloverfield mainly focuses on the immediate aftermath of the monster’s attack on New York City, and the impact it has on a small group of survivors.
How Cloverfield Brought a New Perspective to the Monster Movie Genre
The found footage genre, which is a sub-genre of horror, thriller and science fiction, is characterized by the use of hand-held cameras to simulate the appearance of amateur footage. The use of this filming technique in Cloverfield lent a sense of realism to the film, as if the events were being captured by the characters themselves. The movie, which revolved around a monster attack and the characters’ attempt to survive it, brought a unique perspective to the traditional monster movie genre.
While both franchises feature similar themes of destruction and humanity’s response to it, Cloverfield is more focused on the immediate aftermath of the monster attack and the personal struggles of the characters. Godzilla, on the other hand, has always been more focused on the epic battles between monsters, and the political and societal impact of the attacks. Director Matt Reeves in the same interview said
“The inception of the movie was to do Godzilla on the ground view point of view from somebody who had a handycam. Who’d had no idea, you know, because in the Godzilla movies, there’s always those big, wide shots of like crowds running. And the idea was, Oh, what have you saw the movie from that point of view down there on the street with one of those characters and today, or back when we did it, that camera, that person might have had a tiny camera like a handycam today you’d have on your phone?”
The success of both franchises speaks to the enduring appeal of monsters as a storytelling device.
Cloverfield Franchise Continues with Upcoming Sequel
Director Matt Reeves has confirmed the development of the next installment in the Cloverfield franchise, Cloverfield 4, which will serve as a sequel to the earlier films. Although details about the project remain undisclosed, the director expresses excitement about a return to the Cloverfield universe and states,
“I’m super excited about us doing more, and I can’t give you information about that of course because that’s the way Cloverfield works. To be honest with you, you never know what you’re going to do.”
Cloverfield is available for streaming on Prime Video.