Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cloverfield



NOTE: Spoiler-ish stuff ahead, but I'll try to keep it to a minimum. I will tell you though that Bruce Willis was dead the whole time.

Okay, for those of you who want to know up front what my opinion of Cloverfield is, I'll sum it up for you right here: I thought it was awesome, scary, and a technical triumph that heralds the beginnings of a great genre director. If this Matt Reeves fellow isn't a future generation's Wes Craven, or John Carpenter, or David Cronenberg, then we're going to need Marty and Doc to hop in the Delorean and fix shit because something, somewhere has gone horribly wrong within our dimension's timeline.

Now, that being said, here's some things you need to know; the motives behind my stated opinion, as well as the plain truth regarding Cloverfield when it's not being viewed with the eyes of a 27 year old film nerd who's had a life-long boner for horror movies, high-concept or otherwise:

I was pre-disposed to like this movie - Pretty obvious to just about anyone that knows me. This is a movie directly targeted to the pleasure center of my brain. I love horror movies. I love horror movies that have monsters in them. I love horror movies that have monsters in them that do something different with the material; i.e. The Blair Witch Project. Basically, the blueprint for this movie has been in my noodle since I first stumbled down the "scary" isle in my local video store as a young kid. That someone finally peeked inside my head, sketched what they saw, and then splashed it up on the big screen with masterful strokes is nothing short of a personal miracle. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling this way; there's a lot of happy dorks out there this weekend, I can tell you that.

Cloverfield isn't what you think it is - It might look like a fun, smash-'em-up, gimmicky monster movie. It's not. It's a grounds-eye view of what happens when the End of the World shows up; it's a study in chaos, a three-credit lecture series on the bare bones of terror. If you were to take any sort of real-world national nightmare... a natural disaster of epic proportions, a terrorist attack, a military invasion... and give one of the fleeing, scared members of the throng caught in it's midst a video camera, the resulting footage would look very close, if not spot on, to what one sees in Cloverfield. Be ready for that. Or don't be; you'll have to pay the theater for the seat you shat in, but that's your choice.

There is a chance that you won't like this movie - And there's nothing wrong with that. Despite what I just said above, that's really just my opinion. People aren't going to get all of what I got from it, and that's not a bad thing, nor are they wrong to think differently than I do. Girlfriend, for one, thought it was just okay. When I asked her why she felt that way, the points she made were iron-clad valid. How this movie ends up making you feel is going to depend on what you bring to the theater with you, mentally. Personally, it chilled me to the bone and made me a little sick to my stomach; in a doomed way, not in a Salmonella way. It simply gave Girlfriend a headache.

The camera moves around. A lot. - If you know you get motion sickness, or if you know you can't take a lot jarring, jerky footage that's being shot while people are running, then seriously... stay home!!! You'll just make yourself miserable.

I can't honestly tell you what the monster looks like, even though it's on camera more than you would imagine - The creature design is... just... indescribable. Credit partially goes to the filmmakers for keeping things jumping around and obfuscated enough so that you only get a couple of really good looks at it, but even when you do see it full-on in camera... man, the thing is just so weird looking, so other-worldly... I imagine this is a lot like what people in 1989 felt like when they first saw H. R. Giger's creature in Alien.

You're just going to have to see it for yourself - That's really the end of the discussion. This is a movie so different, so game-changing, that you're really going to have to go in and draw your own conclusion. Unless you're easily motion-sickened. Then maybe wait for DVD.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

so, if i thought it was going to be apocalyptic porn...then...i'm wrong?

and i want to see it...why?

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Giggleloop said...

I'm still not sure how much I liked it. I think I might need to see it a 2nd time to fully appreciate it and catch everything. And maybe this time I'll sit in the back of the theater instead of our normal back-row-of-the-bottom-section seats, because hubby and I were both kinda queasy by the end.

I was stoked to see that it was written by Drew Goddard (one of the two Drews who worked on Buffy and Angel, the other being Drew Greenberg). I'm telling you, the more time goes by, the more I see that all good things entertainment flow from the valley of the Jossverse. :)

11:22 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Moxie... I... uh... what?

Giggleloop... Oooh, yeah, not a movie you want to sit up close for. I made that mistake during a screening of Blair Witch when it first came out. Thankfully I was on my second or third screening, but still... pukeatronic.

7:12 PM  
Blogger i like cheese said...

I didn't realize that it was all shot on hand held video...I don't know what made me sicker, the scene in bloomingdales {you know which one i mean!} or the fact that the entire movie was shaking up and down!

10:47 PM  

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