It was a dark and stormy night. The cold rain beat against me as I raced across the parking lot, stumbling into masses of people, all hurrying to the same destination. I turned on my phone, checking to see if I had reception yet. Nothing. The roars grew louder. Whatever it was, it was getting closer. If I didn’t find somewhere to hide soon…
Oh, I’m sorry, did you need something? I was just enjoying a lighthearted memory of a horror-flick I recently saw: Godzilla. Or was it King Kong? No, no, it was far more recent than that. New York was under siege. Crazy creatures were attacking people in the night. No one could escape because everything was blowing up.
Oh ya, I remember now!
What? That’s not the movie you were wanting to read about? Oh silly me. It’s so easy to get these shoot-em-up, big-monster-is-going-to-eat-us-all-and-no-one-will-ever-live movies mixed up. At least I Am Legend had a cute dog. I’m a big fan of German Shepherds now. I think I’ll even be getting one for myself one of these days.
But you wanted to read about Cloverfield. So here we are, with a guest appearance by the Statue of Liberty:
Oh, oops! Wrong again. I must be suffering post-traumatic movie disorder. Let’s try that one more time:
Ok, that’s better. You know, come to think of it, why are movie producers always picking on Lady Liberty, anyway? And why do monster movies always take place in New York? Can’t anyone come up with something original, like Tokyo?
As a scifi fanatic, I had to see Cloverfield on opening night. So I dragged my friend Rachel with me, and we braved the wind, rain, and really long lines to see what all the hype was about. As we entered the theater, movie employees warned us that people were getting motion sickness from this flick. I just laughed off the warnings. I made it through Blair Witch. How could this be worse?
We sat down, and a cute guy decided to take the seat next to me. We chatted away, with him commenting about what a totally cool girl I am and what amazing taste in movies I have. Ya, I know, thank you, what can I say? I hear it all the time. 😉
As for the movie itself, sadly, I can only give it 3 out of a possible 5 “Star Trek communicators.” A grade of C. I love JJ Abrams. I’m a big fan of Lost. But this just didn’t hit home. It was packed full of every horror-flick cliche one can imagine. It employed the Blair Witch technique of filming with dizzying effect. I never thought I was prone to motion sickness before, but I got seriously queasy. I even contemplated pulling over on my drive home to puke in the pouring rain. I don’t know anyone in their 20s who films THAT badly. I know it was supposed to have a “home-spun” feel, but come on. If I tied a camera around my dog’s neck, the film would have turned out better than that. The effect was a great idea, but VERY overdone. If your audience is so busy trying to keep their lunch in their stomach that they can’t oooh and aaaah over your monster scenes, you’ve done something wrong. In fact, if you want to see the movie, I’ll help you out. Here it is:
Yep, that’s basically every scene.
But seriously, if you really want to see the movie, just watch the preview. It’s basically the same thing, just a shorter version. Sure, you’ll miss a few laughs and a love story… Yes, you heard me right. Abrams dropped in a completely inane love story that only served to move the characters from point A to point B. If I wanted romance, I would’ve gone to 27 Dresses. Come on Abrams!
(On a side note, my friend Rachel really liked the movie. Maybe I’m just a scifi snob.) 😉
One word of warning: this film is not for kids, so don’t even think about taking your 4-year-old Barbie fan. The glimpses of the monster were compelling, but anticlimactic. Why is imagination always better than the big screen?
I know Abrams was trying for a home run, but this time he only made it to second base. One suggestion to Abrams: Try creating a “Cloverfield world” on the web – one where we can delve into the mysteries, watch additional news clips, explanations of events from “Cloverfield scientists,” etc. That would be fun. (Disclaimer: If this already exists, please post the link in a comment!)
With all that said, save the movie for the dollar theater or a rental for a night at your house with your friends. But don’t serve popcorn or pretzels. Just leave a candy tray of Pepto-Bismol and airplane sick bags on the coffeetable. Your friends will thank you later.