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Top 10 Intense Moments from The Cloverfield Franchise

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp

Each movie has been different, and each movie has given us some fantastic standout scenes. For this list, we’ll be looking at the scariest, most exciting, and most emotionally impactful moments from all three “Cloverfield” movies. Join WatchMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Moments from the Cloverfield Franchise.


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Script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Moments from the Cloverfield Franchise

Each movie has been different, and each movie has given us some fantastic standout scenes. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Moments from the Cloverfield Franchise.

For this list, we’ll be looking at 10 of the scariest, most exciting, and most emotionally impactful moments from all three “Cloverfield” movies. We’ll obviously be discussing some major and important scenes from the series, so a spoiler warning is in effect.

#10: Rescuing Beth

“Cloverfield” (2008)

We have to say, traversing a dark New York City with a gigantic monster on the loose to save your trapped girlfriend must suck. The scene where the group finally reaches Beth’s apartment is one of the movie’s most inventive. It employs some low-budget yet convincing filmmaking techniques to show the collapsed building, and seeing Beth impaled on the piece of rebar is one of the movie’s most gut-wrenching moments. The sound design is also incredible, as we go from dead quiet while the group’s rescuing Beth, to literally explosive as they make their escape. This scene is a brilliant combination of visuals, sounds, and emotions.

#9: Jensen in the Wall

“The Cloverfield Paradox” (2018)

Not too many people enjoyed “The Cloverfield Paradox,” but it still contains, like, one good scene. Once Earth disappears and the strange events begin to occur, the group finds Mina Jensen trapped inside a wall of the station, fused with power lines. Seeing a bloody woman with power lines running through her skin is enough to make anyone squirm, and Elizabeth Debicki’s acting nicely conveys Jensen’s fear and pain of being, you know, fused to electrical wires. It’s a nicely directed and acted scene that shows what “The Cloverfield Paradox” could have been had it been given a tighter script.

#8: The Brooklyn Bridge Collapse

“Cloverfield” (2008)

The Brooklyn Bridge sequence is easily one of the scariest moments of the entire franchise, though it has nothing to do with Clover itself. While Clover destroying the bridge is certainly scary, it’s actually the realism of the scene that truly makes it stand out. The way in which the scene is shot perfectly conveys the panic and anxiety that comes with being stuck in large groups. Characters are confused and unable to communicate, they’re all packed into a small space, and everyone resorts to an every-man-for-themselves mentality once Clover destroys the bridge – resulting in sheer, dangerous pandemonium. It’s a monster movie that still finds time for real-world anxieties.

#7: The Woman

“10 Cloverfield Lane” (2016)

Throughout the first third of this movie, we try to grasp what Howard is telling Michelle about the supposedly toxic surface. Is he telling the truth, or is he just BSing to prevent Michelle from escaping? It’s a fantastic mind game that perfectly encapsulates the fears and anxieties of “10 Cloverfield Lane.” And then, the freaky woman shows up and seemingly puts that debate to rest. It’s a very well-acted scene that forces Michelle to grapple with her beliefs and morality. Does she still try to escape? Does she rescue the woman? Does she listen to Howard? These thoughts race through our heads, leading to an unbearably tense yet incredibly entertaining sequence.

#6: Dinner

“10 Cloverfield Lane” (2016)

We’ve all sat through our share of awkward and tense dinners, but whoo boy does this one ever take the cake. Anxiety just permeates this scene, from Howard awkwardly looking at Michelle, to Howard flexing his hands after Emmett jokes about Monopoly, to Howard blowing up after Michelle flirts with Emmett. So, basically everything Howard does. “10 Cloverfield Lane” forgoes its predecessor’s penchant for monster scares, and instead presents a deliriously tense and anxious experience. The dinner scene is a perfect representation of its unique style of horror.

#5: Face to Face

“Cloverfield” (2008)

We certainly get full-body glimpses of Clover throughout “Cloverfield,” but we were never able to get a good read on its face. That is, until the ending, when it finally comes face to face with Hud. After the monster knocks down his helicopter, Hud finds himself directly underneath Clover – who gives him a good, long stare before gobbling him up. It’s curious that the characters didn’t hear this gigantic monster approaching behind them, but whatever. It’s a great moment to end the movie on, as we finally get a horrifying look at the monster that has been terrorizing the city, and its face lived up to our imaginations.

#4: Michelle vs. the Alien Spacecraft

“10 Cloverfield Lane” (2016)

Many people did not like the ending of “10 Cloverfield Lane,” as its overt alien action betrayed the more personal horror of the previous 90 or so minutes. We watch as Michelle runs from alien creatures, protects herself from a poisonous gas, and is attacked by the alien spacecraft itself. The battle then ends in true Hollywood fashion, as Michelle makes a Molotov cocktail, obliterating the spacecraft in a spectacular explosion. We can see why some people have a problem with the tonal shift, but it’s still good action and a spectacle worthy of the big screen.

#3: Bombing Clover

“Cloverfield” (2008)

Now this is how you end a monster movie. After being escorted out of the city in a helicopter, Rob, Beth, and Hud watch in horror and excitement in equal measure, as the military drops bombs on Clover. It’s an incredible spectacle, complete with a full view of Clover; booming explosions; Hud’s excited exclamations; and the hilarious sight of Clover bonking its head against a skyscraper. But, like most good horror villains, Clover appears for one more scare as it emerges from the smoke and knocks the helicopter out of the air. For a movie that cost only $25 million, “Cloverfield” looks and sounds absolutely incredible.

#2: Howard Kills Emmett

“10 Cloverfield Lane” (2016)

After discovering some of his tools and materials to be missing, Howard threatens both Emmett and Michelle with a vat of acid. Emmett takes full responsibility, and Howard shoots him in the face – much to Michelle’s, and our, surprise and horror. The way the scene is shot and directed is brilliant, as we feel slightly more comfortable once Michelle is at ease, only for Howard’s gun to subtly make its way into the frame. While we may initially feel disbelief and shock, the booming and lingering sound of the gunshot and the focus on Michelle’s horrified reaction makes the death seem real. It’s a great scene at the hands of a great director.

#1: The Subway

“Cloverfield” (2008)

Arguably the scariest scene of the first movie – and the entire franchise – doesn’t even involve Clover, but its little monster companions. After getting caught in the middle of a gunfight, the characters run into the subway, where they traverse the dark and empty tunnels. Of course, they aren’t alone, as parasitic creatures soon attack and fatally injure Marlena. The scene preys on our intrinsic fears of the dark; the quiet, enclosed spaces; and parasitic alien creatures. It’s also effective on a purely visceral level – the convincing CGI, amazing sound design, and shaky camera work all put us directly within the violent attack. It’s a horrifying scene no matter how you approach it.


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