Monday, July 09, 2007


Right now, the internet is abuzz with news of JJ. Abrams monster movie Cloverfield, a Blue Harvest smoke screen title for a movie barely anyone knows anything about. The movie has an estimated budget of $30 million and began filming last month in New York. A teaser trailer appeared before Transformers and a viral campaign is under way in order to build hype. There's also a puzzle website which presents you with 5 puzzles that unlock a series of video messages and then leaves you with a code you can use on August 1st when I'm guessing more stuff will be revealed (the puzzles are all relatively easy, it's just the interface makes it all look like hard work).

The teaser trailer is a heck of a tease, showing a group of people at a party when a thunderous roar outside halts celebrations. News channels are seen reporting the disturbance. Revelers spill out onto the street and see a large rolling ball of flame down town and the statue of liberty's severed head lands in the street as people scatter. It's noted on some sites that the ball of flame is an explosion but to me it looks like a rolling ball of flame, like an abstract monster from H. P. Lovecraft's mythos (there's a lot of talk that this all has something to do with Great Cthulhu, but he wasn't available for comment when I called). That's the great thing about this teaser, you don't really see a great deal of detail, and really you're at the mercy of the panicked camera operator given as the whole teaser appears to have been filmed on a mobile phone-camera. So you're left to fill in a lot of the gaps and that's the best bit. It's terrific.

There's also this site (click the link), which is basically the film's release date, and it has snap shots from what I can only assume is the party in the teaser. I read somewhere online that someone had checked the registration for the site and it belongs to the Freemasons and one Albert Pike. Which sounds like the people in charge of this campaign are either incredibly clever and that there's a wealth of information if anyone cares to dig deep enough, or people are reading too much into what little information there is out there. Some people have even taken the photo of the two frightened young women that appears on the 1-18-08 site and spliced their faces together in the hope that this is some sort of clue, and others are seeing the devil's face inbetween the two women. I think its more of a coincidental simulcrum myself, but it goes to show what an effect this pre-movie buzz campaign is having.

The problem with a lot of stuff like this is that the 'mystery' can often be greater than the truth. And it's largely because people build in their own conclusions. They imagine a far greater payload than the initial idea can deliver and so when the initial idea reveals its payload it usually doesn't reach spec. VAL LEWTON WAS RIGHT. Never show the payload (or in Lewton's case, never show the cat people). The mystery is the monster.

UPDATE: You can watch the teaser trailer here (click for the link). Seeing the severed head of the statue of Liberty really does evoke memories of "Escape from New York".

Yet another 'interpreted' rumor going around now is that the monster of the movie (which has been referred to as "the Parasite"), is in fact a Lion. If you listen carefully, just after the scene on the staircase as people spill out onto the street, you'll hear someone say, very quickly "I saw it, it's alive, it's huge". At least that's how I hear it. But some people are hearing the words "a Lion" in place of "a live", and drawing the conclusion that the monster is some sort of lion.

"Nice thinkin', Ray."

UPDATE PART DEUX: The rumor mill concerning JJ Abrams' untitled film thunders on. This time in JJ Abrams drops Harry Knowles a line over at Aintitcool.

So according to JJ Abrams, the Ethan Haas puzzle site has nothing to do with his film. The Ethan Haas puzzle site certainly has all the trappings of a video game. At one point I even suspected it might be the launch for a new MMORPG as the mysterious video message guy says "What role you will play, and how you live or die, is completely up to you." Time will tell.

Ethan Haas Was Right, it turns out, really isn't marketing for JJ Abrams Cloverfield. It's marketing for a game called Alpha Omega by Mindstorm labs, which is an RPG. So there you have it.

With regard to JJ Abrams Cloverfield, it's also been said that it is not "a sequel or a remake". Which rules out "Zombie Kong"!


Bentos said...

re Internet movie hype: Snakes on a Plane

I. N. J. Culbard said...

ha! Good point.

Jay said...

I consider myself pretty plugged in to this stuff, but somehow Cloverfield had completely flown under my radar! I'm intrigued by it all, though. I'd be happier if it turned out to be Cthulhu rather than Gojira, though!

I. N. J. Culbard said...

Likewise. Rising up out of the Atlantic... it could be. Then again it could be Voltron.

paulhd said...

Not looked at the site, but a character called Ethan Hass appears in 'The Brief History of the Dead' by Kevin Brockmeier. It's a fine book, and I believe it was option for a film based on the 1st 2 chapters.... it's also got a 'Lost-ish' premise.

Denise / zombie said...

its like snakes on a plane and blair witch project combined o_O