Most horrifying horror movie monsters: 15. Clover (Cloverfield)
“Clover” is actually the production name given to the monster featured in director Matt Reeves’ 2008 monster flick, Cloverfield. Still, it’s useful enough for our purposes. Plus, the vague cuteness of a name like “Clover” might help you tamp down the animalistic fear that such a monster can inspire.
Producer J.J. Abrams first got the idea for the monster when visiting a toy store in Japan with his son. The pair saw numerous Godzilla toys, which made Abrams wonder about the possibility of an American monster. As he said during a 2007 ComicCon appearance, “I thought, we need our own monster, and not King Kong, King Kong’s adorable. I wanted something that was just insane and intense”. Visual effects supervisor Kevin Blank later elaborated on the concept, saying that “Rather than the monster having a personality, it’s more of an entity or an event”.
So, extreme American Godzilla. An uncaring force of nature. Got it. And, as ridiculous as that may sound, and as much of a vague rip-off as you may judge the concept to be, Clover actually works. Between the odd quadrupedal stance, the too-wide mouth, black eyes, and 300-foot stature, it’s incredibly off-putting.
There’s something very affecting about being put into the place of a prey animal. As humans, we’re often used to being at the top of the food chain. Sure, an unfortunate person may get eaten by a predator every once in a while. However, our large brains have ensured that Homo sapiens has become the dominant species on the planet.
Still, something in our hominid past remains. Our ancient ancestors were far more vulnerable to large predators and environmental disasters. Perhaps that has something to do with our need to confront and explore this fear in horror media. Certainly, a giant, uncaring monster such as Clover fits the bill perfectly.