With the completely unexpected release of The Cloverfield Paradox, the so-called ‘Cloververse’ has expanded even more, but the connection still isn’t totally evident. Anyway, it’s about time that we look at how the three films in this mysterious franchise stack up against one another, so here are the Cloverfield movies RANKED.
3. The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)
The difficult thing about ranking these movies is that they’re all great films, but if there’s one that just isn’t quite 100%, then it’s the most recent edition: The Cloverfield Paradox.
Don’t think for a second that it’s not worth the watch, because this third film takes the franchise onto a much larger scale, featuring action and massive sci-fi thrills like never before, all of which make for a massively entertaining watch on par with your typical Hollywood blockbuster. However, it’s still got that distinctly Cloverfield mystery and intelligence, and combined with an impressive character-driven story, it’s absolutely enthralling from start to finish.
The only reason that The Cloverfield Paradox doesn’t quite stand up to the first two films in the series is that it feels that little bit more Hollywood. Its large-scale action and thrills are great fun to watch, but that does come at the expense of the Twilight Zone vibes of the two smaller-scale films that came before it, and coupled with a less-than-exceptional ending, it’s the only film that won’t manage to really blow you away, even if its stunning surprise release on Netflix did.
2. Cloverfield (2008)
The one that started it all is brilliant because it’s simple, sleek, and as down-to-earth as a monster movie could ever be. Following on from an online marketing campaign that will live on in legend, the film works fantastically as a heart-racing horror extravaganza, playing out entirely in found footage style as we watch a group of people witness New York City being annihilated by a terrifying being.
Cloverfield doesn’t try to be anything it’s not, but instead goes all out with the low-budget vibes that have made the franchise so legendary to this day, proving a quickfire and punchy horror movie that uses mystery and tension to scare you more so than generic horror, all the while planting the seeds of confusion and speculation that have kept the film so fresh in the minds of viewers to this day.
1. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
With only three films so far, the Cloverfield series has made a massive impression on the Hollywood scene, but none is quite like the masterpiece of tension and drama like 10 Cloverfield Lane.
A couple of months before its release, nobody knew the film even existed, but upon hitting cinemas around the world, Dan Trachtenberg’s claustrophobic psychological thriller stunned audiences worldwide with a simple yet daring premise. Following a woman who wakes up in an underground bunker, told that she’s been saved from some sort of apocalypse above ground, the film is a masterwork in creating deeply unsettling tension and suspicion at every moment.
With a tiny cast of only Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr., and playing out almost entirely in a small underground bunker, this is the sort of film that may not look all that thrilling on the outside, but will leave a deep impression on you once you’re sucked into its disturbing and mysterious world, furthered by a riveting, character-driven horror-type story that will have your eyes absolutely glued to the screen.
It’s a genius, unique and terrifying movie that combines the low-budget, Twilight Zone atmosphere of the first Cloverfield movie with more assured directing and performances, making it by far the most impressive entry in the series, and without a doubt my favourite of all.