Saturday, January 15, 2011


B+ (7.6)

It is obvious that in a monster flick, some hybrid giant creature like a dinosaur or a dragon will invade a huge city and people are not just trying to defend themselves from the monster but also trying to attack it. The biggest problem with this kind of movie is that it involves a lot of computer generated giants just destroying the city while the city's residents does the most predictable things to put it down (i.e it focuses greatly on effects, rather than screenplay). Ask that to Godzilla.

Cloverfield is an exception. Like many movies of its kind it start off at ten minutes with the monster beginning to destroy the city. That city, Manhattan.

But before that, the whole movie is actually found footage obtained by the US Defence where everything is shot by some amateur named Hud. hud is documenting a farewell party for his friend Rob who is going away to Japan where he has a job there. However a mysterious monster destroys part of New York and he and six friends instead of escaping finds a girl whom Rob has went out with.

Cloverfield is like Blair Witch Project except this is 100x the budget. They features unknown actors and is shot in hand-held camera. However the great similarity both movies have is that it is not only focused on their characters, but also based it on their point of view.

Directed by Matt Reeves and produced by J.J Abrams, this is not your generic monster flick. It is not only based on some average citizen's sighting but it has heart and it is genuinely an exciting, tight and gripping experience that will scare you several times.

Generally, Cloverfield seems to be inspired by monster flicks such as Escape From New York where the head from the Statue Of Liberty crashed in one scene and Godzilla where the monster seems to be a hybrid of Rodan and that monster but it seems to be reminding me of Hitchcock where Reeves seems to think that this should have a sense of fright and terror in a city with a huge population.

Where Cloverfield avoids genericness is that where in the plot a group of friends not only survive but going deeper into the city by finding this one girl in where the heart cares for and what it is. Ten minutes before the monster invades we see a social gathering where there's conflict between two characters so that way we know that this movie solely focused onto its characters, which is a great aspect about this movie.

Cloverfield happens at post 9/11 where obviously New York is still recovering after two planes collided with the World Trade Centres. However there is little to say that there is one allusion since there isn't one other than the fact that is shot like footage showing 9/11. More so Cloverfield's monster is never told in this movie with huge depth since we don't know know what it is except a few pauses of the monster's face will tell you.

Also the characters are never developed much but the performances are nevertheless convincing.

Unfotunately nobody couldn't embraced the hand held camera and the ending is a bit too vague. If it is, then it is Blair Witch all over again.

IF you're looking for a great monster flick that is neither cheesy nor tasteless then this is for you. Groundskeeper Willie has a love for amateur movies. This is a prime example of a great movie shot by amateurs

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