*This article contains spoilers. Don’t read it if you plan on seeing Cloverfield.
Manhattan is often the target of scary monster movies. Aliens blew it up in Independence Day, Godzilla has destroyed it, those infected monster things in I Am Legend have had their fun, hell even the Muppets have taken Manhattan. Most recently, a monster that looks surprisingly similar to the one in Joon-ho Bong’s The Host has decided to take a bite out of the Big Apple.
I find it interesting that monsters are so drawn to Manhattan. There’s no room to stretch out, cabs are constantly running into your toes, and fucking tourists will never stop asking for directions. Why do they keep coming back? Obviously Manhattan is one of the most recognizable cities in the world, but how do monsters know that? Are they getting the same tacky postcards with the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty on them?
Faced with the monster problem in Cloverfield, the Manhattan kids immediately hatch a plan: let’s get the fuck out of Manhattan and into wonderful Brooklyn. They start to traverse the Brooklyn Bridge, only to have it be knocked out from underneath their feet.
So what message did producer J.J. Abrams wish to convey with this monster movie? That New York will have a lot of trouble recovering from September 11th? That our pollution of mother nature will only result in a giant angry monster that births other little monsters and the destruction of the world? That the military industrial complex may secretly be behind some of the great disasters in American history? No. J.J. Abrams is saying, move to fucking Brooklyn. Brooklyn! Where cabs and tourists never visit, where the buildings are small and less attractive to monsters and where there are plenty of great places to hide.