The surprise sci-fi horror flick “The Cloverfield Paradox” shocked audiences with its sudden release but failed to provide any well-constructed payoff to all that it sets up.
“The Cloverfield Paradox” is the third entry in the mysterious science fiction horror franchise that was kept secret from the public until hours before its release. In an era when film marketing reveals too much about the final product, “The Cloverfield Paradox” takes a big risk in revealing absolutely nothing about the film only hours before its unveiling. No matter the quality of the film, this is a unique marketing campaign that I hope to see some variation of in future movies.
All three “Cloverfield” films center on the mystery of the Cloverfield monster and how it came to earth. Each film is a self-contained story that subtly connects to each other through the origin of the monster. “Cloverfield” covers the night the monster came to New York and destroyed the city.
Its sequel, “10 Cloverfield Lane” takes place in the same time frame but in a different location. A young woman wakes up in an underground bunker with two mysterious men claiming the Earth is uninhabitable due to a mysterious event.
In this installment to the franchise, “The Cloverfield Paradox” focuses on a team of astronauts searching for a solution to an energy crisis that causes them to come face to face with a dangerous alternate reality that is nothing they have seen before.
Not knowing what I was about to see created a fantastic viewing experience. Besides knowing it is set in space and connects to the other two “Cloverfield” movies, I was very excited to have my mind blown by the unpredictability of it. After watching the first half hour, my expectations were met. The lack of a marketing campaign really enhanced the film because everything that was shocking to the characters was actually surprising to the audience too.
As the movie continued and the excitement of the release wore off, I began to judge the film as a third installment that was going to explain everything from the first two movies. The film’s only trailer had the tagline, “10 years ago, some thing arrived. Now, find out why,” so I was preparing to have all the questions from the previous two movies answered. “The Cloverfield Paradox” does not do that.
“The Cloverfield Paradox” has a very exciting and creative first half that provides a lot of setup for some very awesome twists. Right when the audience becomes completely invested in everything, the film becomes a by-the-numbers horror flick in space that is painfully predictable. That tagline about finding out what happened in the first film is a complete lie as it has barely anything to do with the original. While “10 Cloverfield Lane” also has very little to do with the first film, that film at least has a consistent pace and quality that keeps viewers on the edge of their seat. “The Cloverfield Paradox” has an awesome set up with absolutely no payoff.
It was a wise choice releasing this on Netflix because paying money to see this in theaters would make for a massively disappointing experience. The excitement of it being released so quickly and its excellent first half kept me from disliking it. I really want people to support this film due to its risky marketing and its incredible first hour.
Particularly for new viewers who have not seen the first two films, newcomers would really have a blast the entire way through without the information from the previous two films. While I wish the quality of the film was better, I still would recommend checking this out on Netflix due to its incredible achievement with its lack of marketing.