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Cloverfield – 8

Director – Matt Reeves

Cast – Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T. J. Miller, Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, Odette Yustman

Release Year – 2008

Reviewed by John of the Dead

Here is one flick I really could not wait to see when I first saw the trailer for it.  Aided by the greatest viral marketing scheme of all time, this flick gave us something we had not seen since 2000’s “Godzilla”, a giant monster flick!  Using the POV type of filming, this flick brings us face to face with an awesome creature and gives us some great thrills and gives you a real feel for what it would be like if such events ever did happen.  Awesome idea.

This flick follows a group of friends celebrating at a surprise congratulatory party for one of their friends.  All is fine and the party is going well until all of a sudden they are rocked by what seemed like an abrupt earthquake.  The tremors get worse and soon enough disaster begins when they realize Manhattan is being attacked by a giant creature.  The friends must now fend for their lives on the panic-stricken streets and find shelter, quickly!  One of them gets a call from a friend of their’s who is in trouble.  The group valiantly heads back into the city to retrieve their friend, dodging many dangerous obstacles along the way.

I honestly did not think I would ever see a giant monster movie released in this modern era.  We hadn’t had one in so long, and it seemed Hollywood and the general public were uninterested.  Thanks to producer JJ Abrams, this flick hit the big screen and gave me what I never thought I would see again.  Director Matt Reeves did an awesome job with this flick.  He put us front and center into the mayhem and gave viewers a strong taste of what it would be like to experience a giant creature attacking a big city.  The panic feels real, the chaos feels real, the dread feels real.  The creature looks pretty damn awesome, and watching it tear through the city was cool as hell.  I also liked how different elements I did not see coming were thrown into the film, such as the smaller creatures the giant creature would drop onto the streets.  Even cooler was the fact that if bitten by the creature, the person would eventually implode(so it seems, we got a somewhat ambiguous shot of it).  It is obvious JJ Abrams had a big influence in this film’s production, given the writer for this film, Drew Goddard, was also a writer on Abrams’ shows “Alias” and “Lost”.

The storyline for the flick is an enjoyable one as well.  The friends just partying and having a good time provided the audience with a sense of fun and comfort, until out of nowhere the creature hits Manhattan, turning everything into chaos.  As far as conflict, aside from the obvious monster, it was nice to see the friends venturing into danger in order to save one of their friends.  It’s a shame it was the usual “boy must save girl he loves” b*llshit, but oh well, it’s something I guess.  We never get any solid info on where the creature came from, and I liked that.  In this film, ambiguity reigns.

Overall, this is a great creature flick that I recommend to all who love this horror sub-genre.  One of the best flicks of the 2000-2009 decade, this flick is a must watch for horror fans.

Rating: 8/10

– I ranked this film #29 in my Top 50 Horror Movies of the Decade(21-30) post.

– I ranked this film #6 in my Top 10 Horror Movies of 2008 post.

  1. February 8, 2012 at 5:59 am

    I also thoroughly enjoyed Cloverfield. And never, until the very end, did I consciously consider the CGI as I so often do with films that employ it so heavily. My one issue with the film is that it chooses to show the monster at the end. I thought the brief glimpses throughout were more affective. The idea that a city is crumpling around you with limited ability to construct a “context” for it was far more unsettling.

    • February 9, 2012 at 12:22 am

      Yes I agree about how the used the monster at first. The climax was a bit lame compared to the rest of the film, but overall it did it’s job.

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