I’m sorry I wasn’t able to see Cloverfield on the big screen. It was released in cinemas here in the Philippines during the months when I was reviewing for my licensure examinations (probably mid-January), so I wasn’t able to find time for it. Good thing I saw the video at the video rental shop and decided to check it out.
Cloverfield tells the story of five New Yorkers trapped in the city at night, after an unknown phenomenon devastates the city. A few moments later, it is revealed that the city is under attack by a giant monster, aptly named “Clover” by the military. If you remember, this movie had film posters with a decapitated Statue of Liberty with shattered buildings surrounding it, and one with the head of Lady Liberty scratched and strewn on the streets. Yup, this is the one all right.
With the film’s common giant monster plot, what actually differentiates it from the rest is its filming style. The story is told from the perspective of a camcorder held by one of the characters. Because of this, the whole monster’s entity is not tangible in most of the film (except in the end, where we get a close-up), and the scenes can be shaky. I remember that when the movie’s posters were published in the newspapers, a caution was also printed, stating that because of the movie’s filming style, the viewer may experience vertigo. Well, I watched it on my computer and I wasn’t even the least bit dizzy. In fact, I was anxious at the disposition of the characters. They were caught in a crossfire between the US military and the monster and anytime, they could die. Aside from that, our human protagonists are also in danger of being devoured by the giant monster’s human-size, insect-like minions. I mean, if they died, who would continue documenting the events on camera? 🙂
This giant monster film was an enjoyable experience as it did give a refreshing take on the usual giant monster film plots. It was effective in bringing on both a scary and lonely atmosphere that I have never experienced in past monster movies. The end was touching, something which I find different from the expectations of the filmmakers, where they aimed to achieve an eerie end (as stated in the DVD’s commentary). It was indeed an original take on the giant monster movie genre with adrenalin pumping potential.