January 23, 2008

Secrets of CLOVERFIELD Revealed

I have been putting off writing a review for 'Cloverfield' since I saw the movie last week. I mean what else can I write about the movie that dozens of other reviewers have not written. Some critics have even gone as far as calling JJ Abrams a genius. As for me, I believe this is the most brilliant and imaginative movie I have ever seen in a long time.

The ingenuity of 'Cloverfield' is not only in the movie itself ... it's the whole viral marketing campaign surrounding it. If you go in the theaters expecting to see a Godzilla-like movie, you will be greatly disappointed. There are so many hidden messages and stories outside of the movie which gives a more in-depth explanation of the storyline. The downside is that the campaign gives the internet-savvy fans a much more entertaining experience than those who have not checked out the history or participated in the fun.

Based on research from various other websites, I have come up with a summary which will try to explain the 'Cloverfield' story in more detail.

(*Spoilers alert*)

Slusho is a fictional Japanese soft drink company which makes the Slusho! icee drink. The secret ingredient in Slusho is something called Seabed's Nectar. This ingredient was discovered on the deep ocean floor, under amazing pressure and in the most extreme cold.

Interestingly enough, this is the company that Rob is going to work for as Vice-President when he goes to Japan. You might not have noticed it, but during Rob's farewell party, Jason was actually wearing a Slusho t-shirt. (See picture above.)

Tagruato is a fictional Japanese oil drilling company. It is also the parent company of Slusho. A press release on Tagruato's website mentions that a debris have fallen off of the Japanese Government 'ChimpanzIII' satellite. Tagruato's scientists and engineers are assisting to track and recover the fragment. According to data, the satellite piece disappeared into the Atlantic Ocean.

This ties in to what was shown at the end of the movie. When the film cuts back to the footage of Rob and Beth in Coney Island at the end of the movie, the camera pans over towards the ocean. On the right hand side of the screen, it looks like something fell into the water and made a splash. That was the satellite debris! (See picture above.)

Apparently, the monster was buried in the mid-Atlantic ridge millions of years ago. While searching for the satellite, they woke up the monster.

Now going back to Slusho, the ingredient (ie. the nectar) which makes Slusho has signs of steroid drug-like effects, hence explaining how the monster came to be. And also recall how Marlena was bleeding profusely from the bites and she finally exploded.

T.I.D.O Wave is a environmental activist organization which is fighting against Tagruato because they claim Tagruato’s research and practices are destroying the oceans. One of the comments posted on the website mentions that Tagruato has found something during one of their deep-sea drilling experiments. "Something that nobody wants people to ever know about, and something that if people were to find out about it, they most definitely would NOT be happy."

Chuai station, which lies in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (very near to New York), is believed to 'harbor a dark secret' implying that Tagruato is already aware of the existence of the monster and that the station was built for some purpose related to it. When Chouai station was destroyed and sank, Tagruato suspected that it was sabotaged by Tidowave.

At the end of the credits of the movie, an audio cackles from the videocam which sounded like "Help us". But when played backwards, it says, "It's still alive!".

The following is the link to the MySpace pages of the movie characters. This is part of the marketing campaign and had been created to introduce each character:

Rob Hawkins
Jason Hawkins
Jamie Lascano
Lily Ford
Beth McIntyre
Marlena Diamond
Hudson 'Hud' Platt

I have found a very interesting in-depth look at the marketing of Cloverfield titled The Tale of Two Cloverfield Campaigns.

Jamie Lascano, one of Lily's friend, has been posting videos online for her boyfriend, Teddy at her website jamieandteddy.com. The password to the website is jllovesth. If you remember the movie, Jamie was the drunken, passed out girl on the couch at the party.

A few months ago, she fell in love with Teddy and started posting video messages online to him. There are 11 videos posted on the website. After the first few videos, Teddy stopped calling Jamie and hasn’t been answering her messages. We find out that Teddy has been investigating the Tagruato corporation and their drilling operations. In Video #5, we see Jamie opening a gift that Teddy has left her - a Slusho hat and a mysterious substance with the label "Primary Evidence - Jamie, don’t eat this". In a recording, Teddy tells Jamie that if she receives his message, that means that he’s been abducted by Tagruato. Unfortunately, Jamie, thinking it’s Teddy’s way of dumping her. She does not heed the warning and proceeds to eat the substance. The remaining videos show Jamie acting strangely, seemingly affected by what she ate. In the last video, Jamie gets ready to go to "this thing that Lily put together" - referring to Rob's farewell party.

Originally, 'Cloverfield' was just a codename for the untitled movie, derived from the name of a street that JJ Abrams has an office near. However the name stuck when everybody on the internet started referring to the movie as 'Cloverfield'.

A four-part prequel manga titled Cloverfield: Kishin was released by Japanese publisher Kadokawa Shoten between Jan and May 2008. The story centers around two teenagers, Kishin Aiba and Aiko Sasahara, trying to find out more about an incident in what may seem to be the events before the Chuai incident and the New York City attack.

More recently, director Matt Reeves explained in a USA Today article that - within the context of the story itself - 'Cloverfield' is the codename of the military operation dispatched to battle the monster.


Abby said...

WOW i didn't know there was so much more to it :0

chrys said...

hey. nice work on finding out all those info which i never even thought of or bothered to think about. very interesting and i also think the movie was awesome. not predictable and absolutely not cliche. but one thing i still don't get is, why the name cloverfield ?

The MovieBuff said...


I have added an update in the post explaining how the movie got its name 'Cloverfield'.

chrys said...

thanks for clearing up my curiosity.

LLY said...

Interesting, but I was thinking that they are hiding a lot of details about the movie in the official website, probably to make a sequel of something like Cloverfield: The Beginning.

Anyway, you can watch this movie online:

Rhodri Noyle said...

I had no idea that there was so much more to the story, plus I was dragged from the cinema before the credits finished. Maybe I'll have to go and see it again! I did go expecting to see a Godzilla/Blair Witch like movie, but I was very pleasantly suprised. Thanks for the visit and sharing that info, much appriciated!

LBushnell said...

Hey MovieBuff, halfway through the movie the camera guy is stopped by a Japanese man in a ally while chasing down Rob and the Japanese man says something to him that the camera guy can't understand.

It would be interesting to see what he actually said translated into English. Maybe it's a secret message or something.

The MovieBuff said...


with regards to the rambling asian man in the alley, I got the following translation from the Unfiction Forum:

"He was Slavic.

He said "No! No! You are going the wrong way! You can not go the wrong way! There are little big spiders (hard to translate, exactly, but he let him know that there were smaller monsters who were also big, and spider-like)! There is a monster!"

sammy2088 said...

everyone i have spoken to who has seen cloverfield thought that all the main charicktars had died, they never realised that LILY who got into the helicopter with out her friends is (as far as we know) still alive. dus eny one know or have eny clues as to what happend to her, and if she will be in clover 2?????

cheekygurrl said...

wow well done for finding so much out
i was wondering do you know whats happening with cloverfield 2
i thought the monster had been killed when they distroyed manhatten right at the end where rob and beth were hiding under the bridge?
did you know tht theres a hidden image in the main picture used for cloverfield the monsters head is hidden in the clouds in the top right hand corner

dnadave said...

on the dvd if you go to scene selection highlight the scene numbers 15-16 and just wait for 2 minutes then a scene 17 will appear and press enter. here you can view all the extra videos theres one off the When Chouai station sinking at sea, some slusho videos and all the Jamie Lascano sent teddy.

Carter said...

The heli blew up if I'm not mistaken.