- Beth McIntyre: “What is that?”
- Hudson Platt: “It's a terrible thing.”
- ― Hudson Platt, responding to Beth McIntyre as the monster approaches (Cloverfield)
The monster does not possess an official consistent name, but members of the film's crew, including Neville Page himself on concept art for the creature, and many fans have taken to calling it Clover, a shortening of the film's title, Cloverfield. In the film, the creature is designated by the United States Department of Defense as LSA, an acronym meaning Large Scale Aggressor. In Japan, the creature is sometimes referred to as Hakaisha (ハカイシャ), which comes from the Japanese word for "destroyer" (破壊者 and appears in the film's Japanese title, Cloverfield/HAKAISHA. hakaisha)
Clover is a quadrupedal sea monster with a long, forked tail. His slender, triple-jointed front legs are longer than his hind legs, ending in multi-fingered hands that can bend backward, allowing the creature to knuckle-walk. His hind legs are double-jointed. Clover's skin is light grey with darker speckles. Two "external esophagi," which end in tooth-like projections, extend from the monster's lower chest. His head has sharp, bony features, two eyes with massive black pupils, and a pair of membranous sacks on the sides, which can inflate and recede back into the head. From what little can be seen of Clover in The Cloverfield Paradox, he appears to have more visible teeth while his mouth is closed, a longer scalp, broader shoulders, and an overall rougher and brown skin texture.
In Cloverfield, the monster's origins are left ambiguous, although several theories are provided. Hudson Platt speculates that the monster could either be of extraterrestrial descent or an earthly creature that laid dormant deep underwater, comparing it to the Coelacanth which was presumed extinct for over 80 million years before it was rediscovered in the 20th century. Preliminary details from the attack on Tagruato's Chuai drilling platform indicate that Clover may have been originally discovered in the Atlantic Ocean, and other theories suggest that the Human Scale Parasites which Clover collected on its body may have provoked him into his emergence from the water. The online ARG which was created to market Cloverfield in the months leading up to its release reveals, through several hints, that the monster is indeed a deep-sea creature who was awoken by Tagruato submarines, and special features from the Blu-ray release of the film further reveal that the creature was intended to be a juvenile by the filmmakers.
In The Cloverfield Paradox, Professor Mark Stambler theorizes that a successful test of the Shepard particle accelerator could unleash creatures from other dimensions on Earth. This is seemingly corroborated by the appearance of Clover, or another member of his species, at the end of the film.
During Rob Hawkins's farewell party, Clover destroyed an oil tanker near Liberty Island, causing the city's power grid to shut off momentarily and flinging flaming debris towards the party-goers. He then attacked the Statue of Liberty, flinging its head into Manhattan. Hud, one of Rob's friends, recorded the monster several blocks away collapsing the Woolworth Building. After he left, Marlena told Hud, Rob, Lily, and Rob's brother Jason that the monster has been devouring anything in its way, including people. As they crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, Clover's tail smashed it, killing Jason and countless others while severing the support of the bridge and leading to its collapse. From an electronics store, they watched news footage of Clover as the United States Army National Guard's 42nd Infantry Division deployed. As they surround Clover, several dog-sized parasites dropped off of the monster and immediately attacked them and other pedestrians.
Rob's ex-girlfriend Beth, trapped in her Time Warner Center apartment, left a message on his phone, and he resolved to rescue her. Traversing the now-empty streets of the city, he and his group suddenly became caught between Clover and the military as they fired everything they had at the monster. All their firepower, even armor-piercing shells, proved to be ineffective and only aggravated Clover further. The group fled into the Spring Street station and were ambushed in the subway tunnels by a group of parasites. One of the parasites bit Marlena during the scuffle, ultimately killing her shortly after the military found the group. Staff Sergeant Pryce informed them of a location where helicopters were evacuating nearby civilians and warned them the military was prepared to level the city with the Hammerdown Protocol if more targeted weapons failed to stop Clover.
Reaching Beth's apartment, the group rescued her from the piece of rebar that had impaled her. As they descended, F/A-18 Hornets launched air-to-ground missiles against Clover to little effect. They encountered Clover near Grand Central Terminal as he continued battling the military, flattening a howitzer. The military ushered Lily onto the next available UH-1 Iroquois, with the rest of the group climbing aboard the last helicopter to depart from the city. They watched in awe as a B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber bombed Clover with ordinance, causing him to collapse into a building. Hud believed the monster was dead, only for him to leap out of the dust cloud and attack their helicopter. It crashed in Central Park. Shortly after Rob, Beth, and Hud emerged from the wreckage, they found themselves face-to-face with Clover again. The monster took notice of Hud, separated from the others as he retrieved his camera, and bifurcated him with a single bite. Rob and Beth grabbed the camera and took cover under Greyshot Arch as sirens blared in the distance, signaling that the Hammerdown Protocol had begun. The weapons used in that strike broke the creature's tough exterior and killed him, ending his rampage through the city while burying Rob and Beth in the rubble, leaving their fates unknown.
Several monsters were inadvertently transported to an alternate Earth by the Shepard Particle Accelerator and began to wreak havoc across the globe. Clover, or another member of its species, appeared as the escape pod containing astronauts Hamilton and Schmidt fell to Earth. Its head and upper body erupted through a patch of clouds, as it lets out several loud roars.
Clover possessed immense physical strength, able to wipe out several landmarks with ease, including ripping the head of the Statue of Liberty off and throwing it like a baseball. Clover's tail was shown to be strong enough to decimate the Brooklyn Bridge, which was fortified to withstand 49,200 tons of pressure. When attacking the helicopter containing Rob, Beth, and Hud, Clover managed to achieve a leaping height of approximately 560 feet.
Clover seemed to be virtually invulnerable to conventional weaponry, withstanding shells from M1 tanks, AT-4 rockets, AGM-65 Maverick missiles, and Mark 82 bombs. The creature was, however, killed by a last-resort airstrike which leveled much of New York City, codenamed the Hammerdown Protocol.
In Cloverfield/KISHIN, Clover is able to resonate with Kishin Aiba's anger via the "Remnant of God" pod inside of his body. This pod transmits electromagnetic waves to Clover, allowing Kishin to seemingly control the monster and its parasites. However, this control is broken when Aiko Sasahara convinces Kishin that he doesn't get to decide the fate of other people.
In Cloverfield/KISHIN, Clover uses its external esophagi to deploy multiple smaller feedings tubes. Each of these tendrils appear to have a jaw with teeth at the end of them, which it uses to extract the "Remnant of God" pod from Kishin's body.
- Cloverfield/KISHIN (2008)
Clover surfaces and attacks a Tagruato ship near Japan and then heads into Tokyo, causing widespread destruction. The monster was searching for an electromagnetic wave-emitting pod—dubbed the "Remnant of God" by the Repose of the Earth religious cult which worshiped and expected the monster's arrival—that had been taken to be studied by the company Tagruato. The pod had been secretly harbored inside the body of the high school student Kishin Aiba, whose father, a scientist who formerly worked for Tagruato, had determined it was impossible to remove from without causing his death. Following both the revelation to Kishin that his mother had been a member of the cult (which had kidnapped and tried to kill him for the pod moments ago before being rescued by his father) and had used him as a vessel to carry the pod, and Mr. Aiba blowing himself up in his son's vicinity in an attempt to kill both of them to "save the world" from the power of the pod, Kishin had an emotional breakdown and became able to control Clover and its Human Scale Parasites. After mounting the monster and going to the school, he tried to kill his bullies but was ultimately snapped out of it by his classmate Aiko Sasahara. Subsequently, both the parasites and Clover were out of his control.
After using himself as a decoy to allow his classmates to escape, Kishin encountered Clover again. He sacrificed himself to the monster, who extracted the pod inside his body and experienced Kishin's emotions and memories. Clover regains awareness after his left eye is damaged, and returns to the sea, where it begins undergoing a grotesque transformation. Kishin appears on the surface of the ocean afterward, where he's rescued and reunites with his classmates.
- Main article: Clover/Gallery.
In other languages
- Japanese: クローバー (Kurōbā)
- J.J. Abrams stated that Clover was killed by the Hammerdown Protocol in a 2008 Rolling Stone interview. However, he later stated that the monster seen at the end of The Cloverfield Paradox was "the same creature" from Cloverfield. Whether he meant this was the same individual or another member of the same species is unclear.
- Clover's skull makes a brief appearance in Pacific Rim Uprising, during the scene where Hermann Gottlieb examines PPDC records in search of a match for the image Mako Mori transmitted.
- Clover, both the character and successful film it debuted within, has been spoofed and, in one case, ripped-off through several films and television shows:
- The 2008 Asylum Films production Monster featured Mizuchi, a giant octopus who attacks Tokyo, filling the same role as Clover.
- The South Park two-part storyline Pandemic and Pandemic 2: The Startling featured adorable but deadly giant hamsters dubbed The Furry Death. The hamsters themselves were filmed in live action video and integrated into the show's regular animation in order to mimic the found footage look of Cloverfield.
- The 2009 soft-core parody Cleavagefield featured a giant dinosaur-like creature nicknamed Junior (comically credited as Guy Green in the end credits) along with his own handful of large locust-like parasites.
- While a notation on the 'Investigation Mode' special feature on the Cloverfield Blu-ray states Clover's height to be estimated somewhere between 240 and 300 feet in his quadruped pose, he is referred to as both "a 30 story monster" (about 300 feet) and a "350 foot monster" during the 'I Saw It! It's Alive! It's Huge!' special feature.
This is a list of references for Clover. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: