Date Reviewed:
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1st February 2008

Summary:

Cloverfield follows five New Yorkers from the perspective of hand held video camera. The movie is exactly the length of a DV Tape and a sub-plot is established by showing bits and pieces of video previously recorded on the tape that is being recorded over. The movie starts as a monster of unknown origin destroys a building. As they go to investigate, parts of the building and the head of the Statue of Liberty come raining down. The movie follows their adventure trying to escape and save a friend, a love interest of the main character.

Review:

It was nice to finally watch movie that didn't seem like anything I'd ever seen before. This, much like Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" and "Children of Men", completely immerses you in this incredible situation with absolutely no knowledge to comfort you. It's very disorienting, which adds to the experience; you never figure out what the hell is going on but you're so into survival that you put it past you. You're placed with a bunch of characters whom you get to know and eventually must join in their frenzied search for a friend while being subjected to some horrifying imagery and new threats.

The effects look great and realistic thanks to the hand-held camera, which isn't too bad-looking if you manage to get a seat further from the screen. The filmmakers came up with some really great creature designs that were menacing yet very much original. If you're bound to be upset over seeing a movie with a lack of music, then stay for the credits, during which a fantastic suite of music composed by Michael Giacchino titled "Roar! (Cloverfield Theme)" plays.

All in all, a fantastic time at the movies. A little more background on the monster would be nice, though the absence of this information is intentional. Everyone in the theater was rooting for a sequel; maybe a second set of footage is found elsewhere? Or perhaps there is more the the viral marketing -- what exactly were Slusho and Tagruato? Also be prepared to suspend some disbelief, but considering the movie is about a monster destroying New York City, that shouldn't be too difficult.