When the viral ad campaign for JJ Abrams' foray into cinema began in July, the movie only then known as "1-18-08" caught the attention of many people, including me. I have been tracking the progression of the film since the summer, and the hype that came along with it. And let me tell you...never has a movie that was so hyped, so built-up, delivered on so many levels. Never has a movie justified the hype that went along with it. Here's a mini-review:
The best thing about Cloverfield is that, yes, it is a monster movie(in my eyes, a great monster movie), but what sets it apart, is obviously, the first-person perspective of the camera.
When you see a monster movie, like King Kong or Godzilla, or whatever it is...you see the monster stomping around and yelling, and pompous big-Hollywood music in the background as it roars and stomps and stomps and roars, as you see people running around in terror. Cloverfield took the role of the terrified normal person, and let you experience what EXACTLY is going through their mind, and EXACTLY how they feel.
Which brings me to another part--the acting. A bunch of realtively no-name, talented actors filled this movie and I thought they all did a fantastic job. The screaming, the terror in their eyes...something about the performances made it so reallistic. Hud's comedy, while welcomed, did seem a little unnecessary at times, but everyone in my theater laughed when he cracked a joke(intended or not). Also, Rob's love for Beth--you could feel it, you could feel how much he cared for her. If you've been in love before, you could relate to him. And if you've ever lost someone, you could also relate to the movie...
...the way each of the gang died...while it was expected that they would die, I felt sad each time one of them was killed off. The way Marlena died was truly shocking, and I was not expecting it at all. I can't believe she friggin' exploded! Jason's death was assumed, Hud's death was pretty violent, and Rob and Beth basically had the hand of God dropped ontop of them. After each death, though, I did feel kind of sad...which I think was the purpose of the party scene in the beginning. We got to know each character a little bit(but it wasn't overkill), so I was a little sad each time one of them died.
The monster--what the hell was it?! Maybe the monster was made so awesome by the fact that, even though this movie has gone through viral marketing since last summer, we had never once seen the monster. That's why the unveiling of the creature was so satisfying, to me. What was it? From what I could see, it was kind of like an insect/snake/worm with two big forearms(I didn't see any hindlegs, did anyone else?) and a terrifying face. It was unlike any other monster before it.
Here are some renditions of the monster, from the GameStop boards' member "Merovingin33":
Pretty accurate, I think...the creature kind of reminded me also like a preying mantis/grasshopper. What did you guys think?
Overall, I really enjoyed Cloverfield, and I think it's $10 well-spent. Go see this movie now! I'll be seeing it again tomorrow...