Cloverfield released in 2008 is the first film in a series of loosely connected movies created and produced by J. J. Abrams. A franchise that takes place in an alternative reality where creatures from other dimensions attacking Earth throughout various decades, all as a repercussion of an experiment by an astronaut team aboard the Cloverfield Station in outer-space.

The first film was directed by Matt Reeves and written by Drew Goddard. The film stars Michael Stahl-David, Odette Yustman, T.J. Miller, Jessica Lucas, Lizzy Caplan, and Mike Vogel. The plot follows six young New York City residents fleeing from a massive monster and various other smaller creatures that attack the city while they are having a farewell party.

The Godzilla-sized behemoth makes its presence felt throughout this shaky-cam monster movie even though we don’t really get a very good look at the monster until the very end when the skeletal, skyscraper-sized ‘Clovie’ is shown in its entirety. The elongated lizard creature, is an impressive and unique design of a modern, westernized take on the classic Kaiju monsters of Japan.

Visual main effects supervisor Nick Tom and Phil Tippett’s “Tippett Studio” were enlisted to develop the visual effects for Cloverfield. Artist Neville Page designed the monster, creating a biological rationale for it, though many of his ideas, including an “elongated, articulated external esophagus,” would not show up on the screen. Page also designed he Hengrauggi Monster in Star Trek from 2009.

For research, Page Page looked at a disorder known as “harlequin babies” — a phrase that pulls up a host of horrifying images if you plug it into google image search.

The creature’s background, history or motivation are never explored in the movie, which actually makes it more interesting. All the continual rumors of sequels and additional films may, however, reveal more about the monster.

“The monster is a 240-300 foot high[7] quadruped with long tri-fork finned tail. The uppermost double-jointed limb pair is longer than the other two, ending in a multi-fingered hand which can bend backward so that the creature can walk on its fingers. The double-jointed, squat legs are powerful enough to support the creature’s mass, and yet still allow it to move relatively quickly for an organism of its size. Each of its feet is 30-40 feet in length, roughly the size of a city transit bus.[7] The creature is covered in gray skin that exhibits a white pallor, possibly due to an absence of light on the ocean floor. The skin is also host to thousands of dog-sized parasites creatures.”

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