Cloverfield is a 2008 American found footage monster horror film that was directed by Matt Reeves, produced by J. J. Abrams and Bryan Burk, and written by Drew Goddard. The film, which is presented as a found footage shot with a home camcorder, follows six young New York City residents fleeing from a gigantic monster and various other smaller creatures that attack the city while they are having a farewell party. The film was well received by film critics and it ended up earning $170.8 million at the box office against its $25 million operating budget.
The film eventually served as the first installment of the Cloverfield franchise, which also consists of 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane and the currently unnamed 2018 film formerly known as God Particle.
The Film Itself (3.5/5):
Films like Cloverfield, that feature a shaky camera that moves all over the place already start off really bad for myself as I’ve always had an issue with motion sickness when it came to this. However, despite the intentional shaking of the camera as the characters make their way through the inner parts of the city to try to escape to safety, the story and action of this film is one that delivers. There’s action, there’s drama, there’s a gigantic freaking monster unleashing chaos across the city; it’s basically a next generation Godzilla flick.
Picture Quality (4/5):
Despite being what’s considered to be a “Fake 4K” as it is an upscaled release, Cloverfield looked really damn good as it played out across my living room television. With its utilization of HDR we’re given a much cleaner and sharper picture quality that has a much nicer and more real feel to it. The only issue that I personally had with it visually was as the characters were navigating the subway tunnels. These scenes feature lower levels of of lighting with minimal ambient lighting supplemented and were considerably difficult to see outside of the range of the camera lighting.
Audio Quality (3/5):
The 4K UHD release of Cloverfield comes bundled with the same exact audio track that the 2008 Blu-ray release came packaged with. While the included audio track is clean and clear, it does not make use of recent advancements in audio technology and is a damn shame considering they went through the work to upscale the film and complete an HDR pass. This release should have, at a minimum, been packaged with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track to offer a more powerful experience to the ears.
The Packaging (3/5):
Cloverfield comes packaged in your standard two-disc 4K UHD amaray case. Within that case is the standard 4K UHD copy of the film as well as the standard Blu-ray copy of the film. The standard 4K UHD disc doesn’t feature any artwork relative to the film outside of the standard release text and black background. While the included Blu-ray copy has what appears to be cracks designed into the artwork, the standard release text and a grey background. A digital copy redemption pamphlet has been included as well as a slipcover that’s been made available during the initial pressing of the release.
Special Features (4/5):
The 4K UHD release of Cloverfield is like any other standard 4K UHD release in that it does not include any additional content on the UHD disc. All special features have been provided on the standard Blu-ray release and the content that’s been provided there do offer not only a look behind the scenes and the work that went into making this film, but explores the cast and storyline further. Included with this release is:
- Special Investigation Mode
- Document 01.18.08: The Making Of Cloverfield
- Cloverfield Visual Effects
- I Saw It! It’s Alive! It’s Huge!
- Clover Fun
- Deleted Scenes With Optional Audio Commentary
- Alternate Endings With Optional Audio Commentary
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision + HDR10
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
German: Dolby Digital 5.1
Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1
English, English SDH, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Original Film: 85 minutes
Overall, I feel that the 4K UHD release of Cloverfield was lazily done and that there should have been some more time invested in these releases. Despite the film being upscaled to 2160p, the utilization of HDR does offer a much cleaner image, but the overall levels of blacks throughout the film really deter from the experience; particularly in the underground scenes. The included audio track of this release is the same exact one that was used in the 2008 release of the film and offers absolutely no advantage over the Blu-ray counterpart. If you’re considering grabbing this release for your collection, I can really only recommend picking it up if you do not already have the current Blu-ray release. The 4K UHD release of Cloverfield really doesn’t offer much of an advantage outside of using HDR over its earlier release; but if you’re certain that you want to upgrade your Blu-ray release to the 4K UHD, wait for it to go on sale.
Andrew also reviewed this release of Cloverfield. You can check out his thoughts here.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.