10 CLOVERFIELD LANE will arrive in US theaters in less than a month, and many dedicated fans have been working hard to establish solid links to 2007’s CLOVERFIELD. The fact that JJ Abrams described the film as a “blood relative” (as opposed to a “sequel”) was, at first, a cause for concern; some feared that the tagline, “Monsters Come in Many Forms” suggested we’d be seeing a metaphorical beast of the human variety (as opposed to a gargantuan bat-creature). Let’s be honest: That would be a major letdown.
But the most hardcore (and internet savvy) CLOVERFIELD fans have found some tantalizing evidence of a concrete connection by returning to 2007’s Augmented Reality Game (or ARG): An internet Easter egg hunt that offered an illuminating backstory to Abrams’ original monster saga. Long dormant websites have flickered back to life in recent weeks, and Peter Sciretta over at Slash Films has been sleuthing it up like Sherlock, connecting dots and drawing some compelling conclusions.
Rob (in the first film) was leaving America to work for a Japanese company called Tagruato, before his plans were so rudely and catastrophically interrupted. Tagruato produces an addictive frozen drink called Slusho, a concoction made from “seabed’s nectar” (an ingredient harvested underwater from drilling platforms). A couple weeks ago, Tagruato updated their website announcing their most recent Employee of the Month, a chap by the name of Howard Stambler; the post included this photograph:
IMDB confirms that “Howard Stambler” is the name of John Goodman’s character in 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE. If you have the time and inclination, I highly recommend checking out Sciretta’s extensive article on Slash Films: HERE. Below, find a few of the conjectures and revelations I found most compelling.
While Howard Stambler seems quite unhinged in the movie’s trailers, clues suggest he’s actually extremely intelligent. He’s affiliated with Bold Futura, a subsidiary of Tagruato revealed in the original ARG; it’s a division that works on “design, manufacture and integration of advanced technology products for the military, arms manufacturers and space exploration organizations.” He’s a “Telemetry Analyst” who diagnosed “transmission complications with two of [the company’s] governmental clients’ orbiting satellites.” Could this tie in to the falling object eagle-eyed viewers spotted crashing into the ocean at the tail end of CLOVERFIELD?
Since the trailers for 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE take place almost exclusively in a bomb shelter, it’s easy to imagine that Howard Stambler is certifiable Doomsday cultist. But perceptive fans connected the logo on Stambler’s shirt to the website RadioMan70.com—which links to yet another website (FunAndPrettyThings.com). CloverfieldClues.com offers step-by-step instruction for unlocking a letter Stambler wrote to his daughter in which he references a second bomb shelter—drastically expanding the film’s scope and backstory:
THEY MAY ATTACK ANY DAY NOW, SO THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE.
DO YOU REMEMBER HOW EVERYBODY THOUGHT THE WHOLE WORLD WAS GOING TO END WHEN IT TURNED 2000, AND I BUILT US THAT LITTLE BOMB SHELTER OUT BACK? I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WAS THINKING – THAT TINY PLACE WOULD HAVE LASTED US ABOUT A WEEK, ESPECIALLY WITH HOW MUCH YOUR MOTHER COMPLAINED ABOUT IT, NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I TRIED TO MAKE HER HAPPY.
SO THIS TIME, I DID IT RIGHT FROM THE START. IT’S HUGE, SO MUCH BIGGER THAN WHAT YOU PROBABLY REMEMBER! BUT COZY! AND I FILLED IT WITH EVERYTHING YOU LIKE! WE’LL BE SAFE DOWN THERE, HOPEFULLY FOR YEARS IF WE NEED TO. BUT I NEED YOU TO COME TO ME AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THEY MAY ATTACK ANY DAY NOW, SO THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE.
I UNDERSTAND IT MAY BE HARD FOR YOU TO GET TO ME, OR THAT THERE MIGHT NOT BE ENOUGH TIME. SO I HAD ANOTHER SAFE PLACE BUILT – JUST FOR YOU. IT’S NOT QUITE AS BIG OR NICE AS THE ONE HERE, BUT IT WILL KEEP YOU SAFE. IT’S BEEN EXPENSIVE TO BUILD, ESPECIALLY SINCE I CAN’T BE THERE WATCHING OVER THE PEOPLE I HIRED AND MAKE SURE THEY DO IT RIGHT. BUT I’M PAYING THEM ENOUGH THAT THEY BETTER. BUT NO PRICE IS TOO HIGH FOR YOU. AND IT’S NOT LIKE MONEY’S GONNA BE GOOD FOR MUCH LONGER. IT’S RIGHT NEAR YOU IN CHICAGO – DO YOU REMEMEBER YOUR GRANDMA’S OLD HOUSE NEAR THE HIGHWAY? IT’S IN THE EMPTY LOT RIGHT BEHIND THERE. IT’LL BE FINISHED ANY DAY NOW. AS SOON AS IT IS, I NEED YOU TO GET INTO IT AND LOCK THE DOORS BEHIND YOU.
I LOVE YOU, RADIOGIRL. I JUST WANT YOU TO BE SAFE.
Plenty of clues remain undiscovered, so strap on those thinking-caps and take a crack at this riddle yourself! Let us know what you discover! And stoke your excitement for 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE by revisiting the trailer (again!) below.
Are you excited about the impending release of 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE on March 11th? Do you think ARG’s enhance the viewing experience? Sound off in the Comments section!
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