"Could the acid inside of [Howard's] barrel and the gas used by the aliens be the same?" --toonytoon180
Clearly, not everyone has binged-watched Breaking Bad. Back in the day, Jesse and Walter disposed of the dead using vats of hydrofluoric acid. 10 Cloverfield Lane's antagonist obtained barrels of chemical bath from his day job "launching satellites," leading Reddit's science community to pin it as perchloric acid or ammonium perchlorate. The timeline is also a (morbid) factor. In-movie clues insinuate that Howard killed Brittany with the corrosive liquid. If the longtime creep was in cahoots with the aliens, he would have obtained the material ages ago.
This theory is a total reach... though the parallel isn't. Howard destroys lives just like the alien invaders. There's nothing "extra" about his terrestrial acid, but he's still a monster. Let's really drive this home for our friends who think he's an OK guy for being right about the whole "don't go outside" thing.
"I was hoping the figure outside was confirmed, however, to potentially make the red flash actually from the experiment in God Particle and not even caused by the aliens." --cysubtor
Savvy viewers are already pinning 10 Cloverfield Lane theories to Abrams and Bad Robot's next movie, God Particle, wherein "a team of astronauts on a space station make a terrifying discovery that challenges all they know about the fabric of reality, as they desperately fight for their survival." That sci-fi feature's due in February 2017, and many wonder if a shadowy figure seen in Michelle's first glimpse of the outside world, and a red light described by Emmett, are entangled in what could be a cross-dimensional Cloverfield threequel. If 10 Cloverfield Lane does huge box-office business, expect Abrams to give God Particle a name change. You know, the Higgs boson is the quantum excitation of the Higgs field. See what I'm saying?
"This movie was to War of the Worlds as the original Cloverfield was to Godzilla." --Radaniel9
Not so much a theory as an astute observation that anyone familiar with H.G. Wells's novel likely picked up, too. The opening broadcast could be an allusion Orson Welles's 1940 radio dramatization; Tthe inciting "flash" sounds like the Martians' laser blasts and their deadly red weed. The female outsider's atomic burns align with Wells's own descriptions. Michelle's Molotov cocktail riffs on Steven Spielberg's 2005 adaptation of War of the Worlds, which also imagines the Martians as hybrids of mechanical and organic material. And Howard's own dementia recalls the book's narrator, who eludes aliens but suffers from a nervous breakdown.
Possible monster in final scene? --NotMySeventhAcct
Many suggest there's a Cloverfield monster proper in the clouds behind the final spaceship. Get ready to spend hours going frame by frame through this damn movie.
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Matt Patches is Thrillist’s Entertainment Editor. He previously wrote for Grantland, Esquire.com, Vulture, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Guardian. He hid in Brooklyn during the Cloverfield attack. Find him on Twitter @misterpatches.