Cloverfield Review

Thanks to Ambrose, I got to see the new JJ Abrams film Cloverfield last night.

You might have seen the first trailer if you went to see Transformers. In it, you’re watching a party filmed by one of the partygoers on DV, then suddenly bang, they all rush outside and find the severed head of the Statue of Liberty.

The film is really a very traditional monster movie, but with some good modern twists and turns. Like the trailer, the whole film is ‘filmed’ by one of the actors in it, all on DV. It’s wonderfully shaky camera all the way through, which allows them to play around with how you see the ‘monster’. It’s also quite interesting because of the amount of 9/11 imagery. I don’t think they’re trying to ape that day, but they do use lots of the things we’re used to seeing when a big building collapses. You therfore see a crash and lots of smoke rushing down a street and you see lots of people covered in dust. Things that remind you of the news footage from the day.

The monster is well-conceived and different to other movie monsters and there are some surprising twists with that too.

The cast are all quite young in the movie, early 20s though, rather than cloying teenagers, which made the dramatic quandry they face easier to believe. It’s also quite clever what they do with the extras, both in the party scene and at the beginning whilst people are still trying to work out what’s happening. You’ll notice that there’s lots of cameraphones and digital cameras being used – something which I thought was very authentic and rarely replicated in any other mainstream drama.

Overall, and excellent movie and well worth seeing. It’s on general release today in America and on the 1st February in the UK.