DISSECTING THE “CLOVERFIELD” MYSTERY

DISSECTING THE “CLOVERFIELD” MYSTERY

What is “Cloverfield”? Who or what is Ethan Haas? Who is Van Mantra? Questions without obvious answers, screaming for explanation. It started with a non-descript theatrical teaser trailer prior to “Transformers,” and the mystery has continued here. Has television visionary J.J. Abrams and Paramount launched an elaborate marketing campaign under our noses, or is it something more sinister? With all things “Cloverfield” milling below the surface, I’ve launched an investigation traveling the far corners of the internet, using any and all resources I can to unveil the answers behind the “Cloverfield” Mystery. The story of “Cloverfield” didn’t begin here, but it lives here just the same…

The Teaser Bootlegged Around the Internet…
Prior to “Transformers,” released in theaters domestically on July 2, 2007, there played a rather innocuous, almost home movie worthy two minute clip:


Starting with the celebration of, presumably, our main character moving away, a seemingly wild party is interrupted by a massive tremor that shakes them to their core. Gathering around the television, a reporter explains the mysterious tremors and a horrible roar emerging throughout the city. Curiosity prevails and the party gathers outside to experience the occurrence, and fireballs blast from the sky from an unknown source. Shadows move among the skyscrapers, but the fireballs become frequent. Skyscrapers blast into hails of flames, rubble bursts from the floor, and explosions emerge above and beneath the ground. Screams of horror and pandemonium rise as the spectators grab a glimpse of the mysterious force and make a run for it as a massive object, revealed to be the head of the Statue of Liberty, launches into the air, and then the video signal is cut off, followed by “Produced by J.J. Abrams.” The teaser was so shocking and so cryptic that many fans who saw the studio logo “Bad Robot” at the start assumed the title of the film was “Bad Robot.”

Within days, the mystery trailer appeared on numerous websites. YouTube and other popular news websites linked to the video files of the teaser trailer, only to have, a mere week later, all traces of the teaser eliminated. The only hint, offered as speculation, was the name “Cloverfield.”

The Questions with no Answers…
What is “Cloverfield”? Is it the title of a movie? I decided to try and find out and learned very little but the interpretation from fans over at Cloverfield News Feed is that this is supposedly a tie-in for a new J.J. Abrams television show. This rumor, however, is unsubstantiated thus far (the suspected plot for this show would involve the giant monster/s and the fight for humanity, and hopeful fans connected this trailer as a possible stunt for the series “Lost”). Though the teaser trailer is indeed similar to many of Abrams themes, no proof has arrived that solidify the claims made by disgruntled “Lost” fans.

Ethan Haas: Unknown male…
More searches for “Cloverfield” brought on some seemingly pointless websites. What seemed like a cheesy and wild teaser website featuring nothing but a sphere in the center of a city landscape, Ethan Haas was Right, however, ended up being something much more. At quick glance it’s an inaccessible graphic of a mysterious sphere looming along a city, but then, as I investigated, I learned something much more sinister was beneath this site, and the viral marketing onslaught continued to grab hold, tightening the suspense. I examined the large sphere to learn of its tricks and surprises, and then spent an inordinate amount of time on it to uncover what was a mystery within a mystery.

I found myself sitting at my computer spending almost two good hours unveiling the surprises behind the site, giving in to the stranglehold. Ethan Haas was Right is one of the primary sources of information that has provided some clue of the film’s purpose, as well as Ethan Haas was Wrong, which has been a contrary source claiming Ethan to be some sort of sentient force. The end speculation for all of this is that the contradictory site is just a fan made product. Hmmm…

My newfound obsession with “Cloverfield” led to similar websites, including a BlogSpot journal of “Ethan Haas was Right,” as well as the previously mentioned “Ethan Haas was Wrong” denying all followers of Ethan Haas. Among the blog entries are Glyphs that are, at this time, indecipherable. There is also the Cloverfield News Feed, which features numerous links to different news resources about Cloverfield that once again led me to a brick wall.

1-18-08…
I needed a new lead, and so I looked back at the teaser trailer which ends with the date “1-18-08.” Is this the opening date for the film? Is this the date that the world ends in the film? Is it a simple code number? Then I found it: 1-18-08 is also a website.

Mysterious Candids…
If you go to the 1-18-08 website, one of the two pictures features an out of focus glance at the large eye of a monster or monsters behind two character’s heads. At this point it’s mere hearsay, hearkening back to the great Spider-Man villain eye conspiracy from “Spider-Man 3.” I see nothing but a blur, but people will see what they want and the theories will soon continue. The word around the internet has been that there is a humongous monster terrorizing the city. Along with the wild theories, there are also the dark eyes of a character drinking, which some suspect signals a demonic plot device with one of the characters, presumably Ethan Haas. Further investigation has deemed this as a mere photo flaw.

Ethan Haas was wrong?
For legal purposes, we will not feature screenshots or videos of the footage that appears on the Ethan Haas was Right website, as all the stolen footage from bootleggers was taken down from almost every video website and who knows if there is any possible legal action being taken, but it seems that there’s very little to learn at this point, and I imagine sets of this film (if it is a film) will be on heavy lock down, and guarded. Or perhaps the movie has already been filmed. All we’re aware of at this point is of words like “Divinus,” and Ethan Haas was Right, terms that have no real meaning at the moment. But what we can say is that the videos featured on the site explore some rather odd messages possibly by a Van Mantra signaling the possible plot elements for “Cloverfield.”

The Unidentified Monsters…
Within the videos, roars are heard and fireballs explode, and then suddenly word is dropped that there are not one, but two or three large monsters wrecking havoc on the city, and may possibly be gods, or creations by gods seeking to destroy the world; the theory is solidified by my continued examination of the teaser, to which I noticed a small object hovering from the ground smashing and exploding into a skyscraper, while fireballs launch from the sky, this is proof that perhaps there is more than one force at play. There’s even talk and popular news that the film takes place entirely in New York where the monster/s will make the island its home base, once destruction has been finished. If you examine the trailer closely, you can make out a very indistinct shape among the city skyscrapers, but the details remain foggy…

Lovecracked?
The buzz has been the possibility that these monsters or monster is Lovecraftian. Pictures, and supposed concept sketches that have surfaced along websites like Shock Till You Drop, along with rumblings from popular movie news resources have explained the strong possibility that the monster/s here are creations from H.P. Lovecraft lore, and that J.J. Abrams is filming one of few mainstream Lovecraft movies. If this rumor is true, what kind of monster could it be? Could we be seeing Cthulhu wrecking havoc on humanity? Perhaps the Ancients are the ones destroying the city? At this point anything seems likely, but no one is sure of it. Additional word is that the cast and crew have been referring to the monster/s as “The Parasite,” but all of this could be debunked at any time.

Genuine footage, or Smoke and Mirrors…
There have been strong talks explaining that this new project will be in the same vein of films like “The Blair Witch Project,” where the entire story will be told through the lens of a hand held camera, with glimpses of the monster being held back and kept a furious secret. No one is sure what the monster/s look like, and it stirs the imagination to think that the monster/s could be so frightening it could inspire the reaction from the folks we saw in the trailer. But it’s entirely possible the trailer all smoke and mirrors too. It’s yet to be determined if the footage in the teaser is actual film footage, or just detached film for the trailer.

Once the trailer was leaked, it was possibly that it could be live action after all, and the handheld gimmick was really just more rumblings from websites that proved nothing. Either gimmick at this point has been an exciting notion, but judging by the trailer, there’s a great chance the film, being jokingly identified as “The Blair Monster Project,” will be through the eyes of a hazy handheld camera after all controlled by separate characters, or the mysterious Van Mantra.

The Movie with Many names…
Further dispute has been around the title of this new film and the names are being bandied about as the days pass. As of this moment many think it will be “Cloverfield,” while some say “Slusho” (also the name of a Slurpee-like drink in Abrams’ “Alias” show), some say it’s a whole other title altogether, while others theorize that the date 1-18-08 acts as the release date, the date the film takes place, AND the title. At this point and time, “Cloverfield” has been accepted as a mock moniker for a film that’s still identified as “Untitled J.J. Abrams Project”, while the alternate title “Cloverfield” has: (fake title) planted right next to it. Speculation does continue, however, that the mystery title is indeed “Cloverfield.” Until concrete disputing information arrives, this investigation will also be identified as “The ‘Cloverfield’ Mystery Investigation.”

Closing Files and Statements…
These are the facts as of this moment as the project from J.J. Abrams continues to unfold. One certainty is that this new film is granting a huge mystery that I will attempt to delve into further over the course of the days leading up to the release date here on Film Threat. Who knows what this new J.J. Abrams project and Paramount holds for all of us? Perhaps it will be a pure masterpiece of science fiction and movie monster cinema, or perhaps this ad campaign will be the only thing good about this film. Maybe this article will disappear tomorrow from the web, along with me; maybe I’m a part of the mystery. Either way, I hope the people behind this film give me time to watch this movie, because if the trailer is any indicator, we’re in for something rather fantastic.

My investigation continues on, even as the trailer has officially been released for public consumption under the name “01/18/08.” This conspiracy theorist leaves it all to imagination and welcomes debunking, while I delve into the assorted links leading to constant dead ends and eventually, hopefully, the answers behind “Cloverfield.”

Follow along with Felix and Film Threat’s investigation as it continues in The “Cloverfield” Investigation>>>




Posted on July 11, 2007 in Features by
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