Sunday, February 3, 2008


I'm just back from the cinema after seeing Cloverfield. This was one of the movies that was on my list of must see movies for this year, in fact it was very close to the top of that list. The problem this movie had to overcome was expectation. It arrives on the back of a fantastically orchestrated viral advertising campaign. The first trailer was brilliant and the follow-up false news reports were very well done and really got me psyched up for the movie.

It is actually a very short movie but that definitely works in its favour. It starts slow but very quickly the monster is on the scene and from that moment to the last it is full steam ahead. Following this small group of people we really do get a sense of the confusion and terror that they must be feeling. This is in no small part due to the decision to show the whole film from the perspective of the video camera one of the characters is using. There are no cuts away to other view points for showy sequences, everything on the screen is what the character captures. This is in equal parts cool and frustrating.

There were a few times during the movie that I just wanted to shout at the guy wit the camera, "turn around and film the monster!". I wanted them to stop worrying about being squashed or eaten and show me the money shot. They don't leave you hanging but they do leave you wanting more, which is actually good as you leave the cinema thinking about the movie. The film has a reported budget of only $25 million but the effects in the movie are amazing and aren't as sparse as you might imagine. Combined with fantastic sound effects it really does all add up into the best monster movie experience I've ever seen.

I'd recommend anyone to see this movie. It is a new experience in movies and is likely to be copied by many movies to come. In fact, it appears that the production company The Asylum has already gotten their claws into this idea. I've seen reports that a sequel is in the works and I am very disappointed about this. I think it is best left as a one off experiment and fantastic experience.

Some people might be advised to take some travel sickness pills before entering the cinema.

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