Brooke Nicholson | Arts & Entertainment Editor
- This article might contain spoilers from the Cloverfield franchise -
Back in January 2008, theaters all over the world finally got to see a movie that had been kept so secret, when the first promos and trailers were released, it only went by its date of release, 1-18-08. The movie, Cloverfield, held so many secrets and surprises through its shaky, handheld camera POV, that audiences walked away both terrified and wanting more. The second movie in the franchise, 10 Cloverfield Lane, was kept under even more wraps, with no word of a second movie for years until a trailer circulated on the internet about its planned release, just two months later. Fans of the Clover-verse didn’t think producer J.J. Abrams had anything else up his sleeve, until he did just that, causing an uproar on Film Twitter and from the Super Bowls’ audience when a one-minute trailer premiered just after the game started, stating that it would be available to watch on Netflix right after the game.
The Cloverfield Paradox’s trailer stated that ’10 years ago, something happened. Now, find out why’, causing even football fans to wish the game would end early. After the Eagles were declared winners of the 52nd Super Bowl, Cloverfield fans eagerly tuned into Netflix to find Cloverfield Paradox ready to go right on the homepage.
The movie follows a group of astronauts and engineers that have been hurling above Earth’s atmosphere for over two years, desperately attempting to get the Shepperd, a particle accelerator that could solve Earth’s dwindling energy crisis, up and running. Once they managed to get it going, the Shepperd outperforms, then quickly dies again. After this, the crew begins experiencing strange phenomenon upon the Cloverfield station, like an unknown crewmember caught in wires, trapped behind a wall, or getting one of the crew members’ arms ripped off by the stations wall. After many attempts to get the particle accelerator back online and get back to Earth, the last two surviving crew members are able to bring the station back to the planet, and escape the failing station through the escape pods. What they don’t realize is the damage that’s been done as a consequence of the Shepperd creating holes in the spacetime continuum, and they plummet back down to Earth, with the last frame of the movie showing what the Cloverfield station unleashed when the particle accelerator malfunctioned.
Once the movie was ready to view, excitement quickly turned to confusion, as fans all over the internet tried desperately to dissect watch the wild ride they had just watched. The movie does have its moments, giving us scenes that either give the audience a good jump or make you tense up in suspense. It also does give you a, somewhat, clear explanation about where the monsters from 2008’s Cloverfield came from, and gives the audience an idea about how the whole mess even started. The 50 million dollar movie gave us some aesthetically pleasing space sequences, along with the satisfaction of connecting the dots once the movie is over.
On the other hand, it was not what fans were expecting at all, from the marketing of the movie, to the movie itself. For a non-Clover-verse fan, the movie appears to be a jumbled mess of a space journey that never quite gives us a satisfactory resolution. Because the movie changed some of its scripting during post-production, some parts of the movie delivered lines that didn’t quite need to be there, or felt too silly for the scene. The only way fans were able to decipher what the heck went on in it was spending hours on the internet for clues or rely on their friend who kinda-sorta knew what was happening based on what went on in movies past.
There is so much that could be covered as far as this movie goes, because there was so much going on you almost couldn’t take a breath. One things for sure, the release of the third installment in the incredibly secretive franchise showed movie goers around the country how viewing films would be forever changed. Fans weren’t tainted by any reviews from movie critics, they did not have to wait in lines for tickets, or travel to the movie theater, or even step outside the house.
The Cloverfield Paradox gave us the start of how we will view movies from now on, and that part, everyone could positively agree on, was the probably the best thing that came out of it.