Cloverfield yesterday after I finished work. I’ve heard some very positive and some very negative reviews of this movie. Here’s mine. I’ll try and avoid spoilers.
In short, pretty good stuff. The hype machine did its job and I was genuinely excited to see this film. I wasn’t disappointed. It’s an old-fashioned monster movie with the tension turned up — they managed to make the characters sympathetic enough to increase the tension, but with minimal back-story. The monsters are class and the handheld filming is very effective, but I had to take regular breaks from looking at the screen: I doubted all the tales of the film inducing motion sickness, but on the big screen it hit my stomach hard. The sound design (no music on the soundtrack until well after the closing credits have started) is actual genius. I don’t use the word lightly — I suspect the audio is a major part of the strength of the film.
I’m conflicted, though.
I’ve read a lot of debate over the destruction of New York-9/11 parallels (for example). I’m not in a position to call that one, since I’ve never even visited the States. I did think about it while watching some of the early destruction scenes, although I can’t say if it’s because I was aware of the discussion beforehand or if it was something the film would have provoked in me by itself. Anything further is too easy for me to say from several thousand miles away.
What I can expand on is my internal argument that runs thusly: “The total lack of exposition is great!” “I want to know all about the monsters!” “It’s always fun to be left with questions.” “Where’d they come from? What happened to her? Why is it happening?” “Too much detail would have totally ruined it.” “But I like detail!”
There’s room for a whole mythology here, and part of me longs for it. The crew probably have it all written down somewhere, and I want to know. But I don’t. But I… You get the idea.
Cloverfield is definitely worth the short running time, just sit as far back from the screen as you can stand :-)