Cloverfield

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Cloverfield; a mixed bag of really good, and really difficult.

Jan 24, 2008 (Updated Mar 5, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Action Factor:
  • Special Effects:
  • Suspense:

Pros:Intricately crafted; awesome special effects, an overwhelming ride into terror.

Cons:The medium that serves it also makes it nerve wracking.

The Bottom Line: Watch this movie in the theater! Its scale is too big for DVD. But watch this movie!


Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

Cloverfield has been called a modern day Godzilla. I disagree vehemently; Godzilla was a metaphor for the fears of a world wrestling with the implications of nuclear war. Cloverfield is not a metaphor for anything.

The Premise is simple; a boy is having a going away party when a giant monster attacks New York. He has to go across town to rescue his girl friend. The action is all captured on a camcorder.

Now, past that very simple premise, everything gets very complicated. This is not really a monster movie, but a movie about people, and how they act and what they can do when pushed to the extreme.

The first quarter of the movie is set up, first, a trip to Coney Island, then, a month later, prepping for a surprise going away party. (Someone began taping over a very important memory. Hasn't that happened to us all?)

During the course of the party, you learn that our hero, Rob, who is the honoree of the party, is estranged from Beth, the girl from the early part of the tape. They are best friends, then they slept together, and now, because he is leaving to take a very important job in Japan, he has not pursued the relationship, and she is understandably hurt. Harsh words are exchanged, and she leaves.

Then the monster attacks. Beth is injured, but manages to call Rob on her cellphone to tell him she is trapped.

Now his whole purpose in life is to get to her; the problem is she is in midtown, and the monster is between them.

You don't really see the monster for the first half of the film; no one knows what it is, no one knows where it came from, or why it is here. And that is one of the great strengths of this movie. It truely captures the terror of NOT KNOWING.

Everything about this movie is has that real immediacy. In the 30's and 40's movie monsters were cheesy, and if you were going to enjoy it, you had to suspend your disbelief. As the years have gone on, and special effects have gotten better, those mental muscles have atrophied.

But Cloverfeild's entire feel, the cinematography, the plot, the pacing, all of it, suck you in, and disbelief is left behind. It is that compelling.

That said, all of these things also work to fray every nerve you have. I came out of the theater exhausted.

I highly recommend you see this movie in the theater; I really feel the scope of it will not translate well to DVD. Also, I don't think this is a movie you will watch over and over. But one time will leave an indelible impression.

The Master of the Macabre: H. P. Lovecraft

Pickman's Muse
Beyond the Wall of Sleep
Dark Adventure Radio Theatre: The Dunwich Horror.
Dark Adventure Radio Theatre: The Shadow Over Innsmouth
Dark Adventure Radio Theatre: At the Mountains of Madness
H.P. Lovecraft Collection III: Out of Mind
H.P. Lovecraft Collection I: Cool Air
Dagon
Die Monster Die!
The Dunwich Horror
From Beyond
C'thulhu
H.P. Lovecraft's Haunt of Horror
The Call of C'Thulhu  (A Masterpiece!)
Dreams in the Witch House

Inspired by the Master's Hand:

The Courtyard by Alan Moore
Hellboy
The Mist
In the Mouth of Madness
Cloverfield


Recommend this product? Yes


Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Fit for Friday Evening
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older


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