On Cloverfield

Was the hype worth it?  Is Cloverfield as scary as its trailer?  (I was blown away when I first saw those wild hand-held camera images  culminating in the head of the Statue of Liberty crashing to earth.)

Pretty much, I’d say. Cloverfield is great scary action, and has one nail-biting sequence that had my vertigo working overtime. I once walked up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and was appalled at how nauseous it made me feel – because of the lean, up and down didn’t feel right and I was convinced I was falling.  The Rescue Scene in  Cloverfield had a similar effect on me.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie - it’s brief, exciting, and exceptionally well shot.  But I found in the end I resisted the central conceit – the idea that the whole movie we’re watching is actual footage from a DV camera held by one of the characters.  I’m not normally slow to withold my suspension of disbelief; but this was a step too far for me.  A monster (no plot spoiler here, we all know this is a monster movie) is approaching, and you’re running for your life – and you take time to pan the camera around to take in the view? 

There was several points where only an utter lunatic would have carried on filming, and each of those moments kicked me out of the film.

I think the movie would have been stronger if it had just allowed us to imagine there really was a monster.  The Bourne Supremacy has a similar, jittery hand-held camera feel throughout – but we never query that.  It just feels natural, part of the movie’s style.

And the restricted POV of the movie – we only see what our main characters see – was used to equally good effect in Spielberg’s  War of the Worlds without any need for explanation.  The most chilling moment is when the Tom Cruise character sees bodies floating down the river; far more powerful visually than seeing the people being killed and becoming bodies…

But I did love the film’s complete absence of exposition and narrative information.  There’s a great big monster – that’s all we know. Is it an alien? Did it have a spaceship? We don’t know; and we don’t care.

Because it’s coming for us and it’s time to run…

Sharing and Bookmarking:

If you enjoyed this article, please consider bookmarking it or spreading the word via your favourite social media channel:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr
  • Posterous
  • Google Bookmarks
  • RSS

Keyword-Matched Posts:

Haven't found any related posts just yet... still searching...