The best way to see 10 Cloverfield Lane is to know as little as possible – but, then again, what a weird thing for me to tell you. You have to pay to see this movie and I saw it for free. Actually, it’s my job to see this movie, so I was paid for my time. In other words: I didn’t invest any disposable income or precious free time to see 10 Cloverfield Lane. If I were you, I’d want to know something about it other than a stranger on the Internet saying, “Hey, trust me, spend your money on this.”
(What other product would ever come with that recommendation? “Hey, the less you know about this humidifier before you buy it, the better.” Or, “I could give you more details about this Buick Skylark, but it’s better if you just experience them yourself after you buy it. Trust me.”)
It’s kind of remarkable that two months ago, no one even knew this movie existed. Then a “leaked” trailer hit the Internet and everyone suddenly became abuzz with Cloverfield fever. I’ve been thinking about why. It’s not like the first movie left us with some crazy mythos that the world has been dissecting since 2008. No, it was just a pretty good monster movie filmed with the shakiest of shaky cams.
I don’t think it has much to do with the 2008 movie itself, but more the title. The word “Cloverfield”automatically invokes a sense of mystery, which has much more to do with the seven months of speculation between July of 2007 and January of 2008. This was speculation that varied from the film’s title (which wasn’t confirmed until November) to a plot that could have been about anything from Godzilla (which, sure) to Voltron (which is pretty funny when you think about that versus what the film turned out to be).
But what those six months did was condition our brains to go into a saliva inducing “mystery” coma every time we hear “Cloverfield.” Mysteries are fun! Well, sort of. But Cloverfield was one of the first “online mysteries” surrounding a movie that worked – and it most likely worked because they did nothing. Remember that “Evan Chan was murdered” game surrounding Spielberg’s A.I. that had nothing to do with the movie? That’s the kind of stuff that doesn’t work. Cloverfield won the “mystery” game by not even releasing the word “Cloverfield.” Even today, that word doesn’t really even mean anything. It’s not like the monster’s proper name was “Clint Cloverfield.” It’s just a word. But it’s now an exciting word because we have no idea what to expect.