Cloverfield

A giant monster attacks New York and a group of friends must cross the city to rescue one of their own.

Had it been filmed the way I just described then it might have been a good movie and it might have been well worth watching. Depending on who directed it, what the special effects were like and who the cast was. I can hazard a guess like that because we've all seen movies that loosely fit that description. You know the ones I mean where a group of friends band together to escape something. They survive a few close calls and - inevitably - one of them dies and the levels of tension are ramped up before the all-action finale, after which the hero gets the girl.

So, Cloverfield could have been another one of those movies.

But it's not. Because instead of showing us everything that is happening, the film only shows us what is seen by a camcorder being carried by the group on their trek. This means, of course, that there is a lot the filmmakers can't show us. But that doesn't matter. Partly because this is the sort of stuff we get to see in other similar movies anyway and partly because their choice of storytelling technique allows them to show us stuff we normally don't get to see. And that's the stuff that makes this a film worth seeing.

Some of the decisions are inspired (for instance the tape used to record this was also used to record something else, and sometimes we get to see that as well) and the movie is a thrill ride from star to finish.

I'm giving this an "A+" because I can't give higher/more.

1 comment:

Patrick Roberts said...

a lot of people complain about the excited camera movement in this movie, but i appreciate the originality of it. Well, mostly original. It still didn't make people wonder if it was real as effectively as Blair Witch.