Went and saw this on the advice of a friend who said it terrified him. I now think that he was being sarcastic.
You may have heard what Cloverfield is about. You may have these ideas in your head that it's a monster movie. You are incorrect. Cloverfield is about a douchebaggy yuppie and his equally douchbaggy yuppie girlfriend that he let "get away". When a giant, Godzilla-esque monster attacks NYC and everyone tries to get away, he insists on buying cell phone batteries so he can call her. He insists on sneaking through subway tunnels so he can reach her. He convinces the military to let him go and keep looking for her. And he manages to get his equally douchebaggy yuppie friends to come along with him since they have, obviously, no survival instincts at all. Meanwhile, they fend off thousands of insect like monsters, manage to slip through the crossfire between the Army and the giant monster, climb from the rooftop of a skyscraper onto the roof of the neighboring, about-to-topple skyscraper and - miracle of miracles, find the girlfriend, injured, but otherwise totally fine.
Imagine The Host, but really really bad. Then imagine that it was written by a 12 year old girl whose idea of "love" and "romance" is about as mature and developed as her ability to perform quantum physics. They even manage to slip in a pretty horse in one scene (in downtown Manhattan). 12 year old girl. I really believe it.
The concept sounds good - the film is presented as though it were found footage from a camcorder that the Department of Defense picked up after, apparently, they killed off the monster. But that's where the cleverness ends and the film is completely fucked in every other way. The acting is deplorable, the dialogue so unnatural, the fact that the person with the camera insists on continuing to film everything "so that the world will know" so annoying - oh my God this is terrible movie. I hated it and suggest that everyone reading this avoid it. It's not a bad in a fun way, it's just terrible. No scares, cheesy CGI, dumb script, dumb everything. Awful, heinous film making and a punch in the balls to everyone who has ever worked on a Godzilla film. Ugh, I think I just threw up a little bit.
- Complaint Department
Thank god my dear friend, you finally got around to watching this and I knew you would absolutely hate it. As stated, Mr. Complaint Department and I have varying tastes. He loves Michael McDonald while I only have a place in my heart for Phil Collins. He loves Black Metal and I think its shit (minus a few, namely Satyricon and Celtic Frost).
I thought Cloverfield was incredibly original and it reinvigorates a genre that has become old hat. Now I can't stand JJ Abrams holier than thou bravado on Lost. I wasted a year of my life watching it and cannot understand why so many damn people love this show. The fact that you have to follow every god damn thing shown on each episode (‘Holy fuck did you see the talking shark that was wearing a pink dress in the last episode?’) in the vain attempt to get some sort of answer in regards to this cluster fuck of a show. Is it a government conspiracy or is everyone trapped on some level of heaven or hell? Complete and utter bullshit, but I digress.
What I thought was so great about Cloverfield was that you felt the sheer terror and emotion being expressed by everyone involved. Imagine hanging with a group of friends (yuppie or not), minding your own business when Baddy McBadderson monster comes stomping through town, hurling building facades like they are pick-up sticks. The capturing of the fear, anxiety and just overall confusion on what was going down was portrayed very realistically (some scenes were very reminiscent of images played by the media during 9/11).
As for the dialogue? Yeah it was pretty dumb, I’ll give Complainty that much. But how the fuck would you act if a monster (not a fucking man in a rubber suit stomping on models of Tokyo city, with gasping Tokyo-ites pointing in amazement) came trapsing through your hood being a buzzkill on your party? Instead what this film captured was the sheer horror that comes with any sort of natural disaster (orchestrated by a monster or not). And when has a monster movie ever been Shakespearian theater?
Did I mention the monster? Not only was it ridiculously cool looking, but it had little mini monsters that spouted off from it, killing everyone in its wake and ripping peeps to shreds. And if some poor chap got bitten, they became infected and eventually exploded from whatever venomous contents were spewed forth. Yes the CGI was bad and cheesy, what CGI effects aren’t? I can’t remember a movie that I’ve seen were CGI ever looked entirely realistic.
What Cloverfield does so well, and what it does to remind us of why we go to movies in the first place, is create real tension and scares (yes, there were some jump out of your seat moments including an intense scene in a subway tunnel) which makes for a fun movie watching experience. When people are curled in the fetal position in their chairs or let out a scream during a particularly intense moment, I’d say that that’s a job well done. I will say so indeed. I really enjoyed this movie. Fuck a dude in a rubber suit stomping around a model of downtown Tokyo. Give me this any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Cortez the Killer