Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Cloverfield (2008)

Directed by Matt Reeves

Starring Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas, T.J. Miller, Michael Stahl-David

Author

A cross between The Blair Witch Project and Godzilla, and better than both.

The overfly amateurish (don’t most people try to keep the camera level, at least?) video footage is a bit hard to watch at first, but redemption comes later. Ominous, scary, and believable, this is the best monster action I’ve seen in years. It’s what 1998’s Godzilla should have been like. Why are there so few good monster movies?

Effects are very well done. Despite the amateurish video footage, there was probably a lot more set production work and special effects than people might realize. I wonder if this movie struck a chord with 9/11 survivors, with the explosions and falling buildings in Manhattan.

With the exception of a few lines of silly dialogue, the performances by the mostly amateur cast is authentic. By the end, the characters are reasonably developed and there is some real feeling there.

We get glimpses at a happier past, and for a few moments in the present we find happiness again. Amidst all the chaos and destruction, the film squeaks out a hopeful message: Cherish those you love, and hold onto them at all costs.

The “forced” reliance on amateur footage, the lack of a monster origin, and starting point of a potentially limitless story make this film a perfect candidate for a kick-ass sequel. (At this moment, it does indeed look like they are making one.)

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