Cloverfield (2008)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see a city get destroyed from a first person point of view? Well then today is your lucky day. Cloverfield is just like any other generic monster movie in creation, with a bit of a twist. The entire action is seen from the view of a handicam recorder. It is this cheap gimmick that actually gives this movie a one up over other films of the genre. As far as the plot goes, there is a monster attacking New York City and we get to follow a small group of friends who are trying to escape. There's also a love story thrown in just to give the movie some substance. Didn't I say it was generic?
In the movie we see a lot of the same old, same old. People die, people are crying, more people die, the military comes, even more die, so on and so forth. But due to the cunning mind of JJ Abrams, all of these things are seen in an unchartered way with the use of a handicam. It is this strategem that manages to pull the viewer into New York City and truly feel the horrors that you've seen so many characters go through in other movies of this sort. There was actually a point in the film where I literally jumped out of my seat because of the realism of an explosion that had just taken place. But at times, this camera ploy hurt the film and made it less enjoyable. Times in the film when the director wanted to explore the love story, the handicam angle really removed you from the film and hinders your ability to enjoy it.
There is also one more very important caveat that you must take into account. Those with motion sickness should steer clear of this film. Oftentimes while watching it, I began to feel dizzy and had to look away for a minute or two.
There isn't much to comment on as far as acting goes. Every performer pretty much accomplised the "scared onlooker" role. One thing that impressed me was the actual appearance of the monster. When a new monster movie is released, there is always a fear that the creators will render the beast in a silly fashion. Luckily, this was not the case here. Adding to the list of positives, a short running time ensures that Cloverfield and its handicam gimmick does not wear itself out. Overall, Cloverfield was a solid monster flick, with a few scares, and lots of heart pumping action to keep you interested. My rating (7/10)

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