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“Cloverfield” Movie Review

Hey, Frayed Wire readers! This is a review Josh made on his old site, but is now being moved here!

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Cloverfield has been popular ever since its ingenious teaser trailer was released. Does it live up to all its hype? I think so. Although it’s yet another “Giant reptilian monster attacks New York” movie, the handheld camera point of view does put an interesting spin on the old genre. More importantly in this type of movie, the actors are all very good and their characters are all the kind you want to root for – although it’s easy to tell from the start that someone’s gonna get eaten.

The movie begins with a watermarked screen declaring “Property of U.S. Government”. A message tells that the viewer is watching a Digital SD Memory Card of video pertaining to U.S. Case Designate “Cloverfield”, found in the area “formerly known as Central Park.” The rest of the movie is this video, originally containing main characters Rob and Beth on a date in Coney Island, but recorded over by footage of Rob and co. escaping New York and the giant monster. Because of this, occasionally the frantic chaos cuts away and we see what was on the tape first – Rob and Beth in a brightly lit, peaceful New York. Oh, the irony.

Rob’s friends plan a surprise going away party for him, who is taking a job that will send him to Japan. One guy at the party, Hud, is tasked with recording people’s good-bye messages. But when the ground starts shaking and explosions are seen from the city, Hud starts using the camera to record the catastrophic events taking place. He eventually follows Rob and a few others, who decide to find Beth in her wrecked skyscraper apartment. Naturally, the apartment is in the same direction the monster is.

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The monster itself is shrouded in mystery. Most of the time, it is seen only in brief glimpses doing things like chopping buildings in half with its tail, destroying military vehicles, and releasing hundreds of little spider-like creatures that fan out throughout the city. After all, one giant monster is easy enough to hide from in a city as big as New York, but with little ones running around, avoiding death is not as easy.

The camera is the most revolutionary part of the film, and despite all its shakiness, I thought it made things interesting and much more convincing. But just because the camera appears to be low budget, that doesn’t mean the rest of the movie is. The huge scope of locations around New York is impressive, and so are the special effects and action. There is also some surprisingly nasty gore during a scene at a hospital – the only reason this isn’t rated R is because those sequences were very short. However, I also noticed that the characters didn’t swear nearly as much as I think they would in real life. Not that I really care. It’s good that the filmmakers didn’t cram the movie with unnecessary swears, in my opinion.

The action is very intense at times, and luckily all the suspense in the film isn’t just from chase scenes and monsters killing people. Peril is found at every corner in Cloverfield’s New York City. Some of the most disturbing scenes of the movie are the ones that shadow events from 9/11 – buildings falling, loose papers flying through the air, and clouds of smoke pouring through the streets of New York. Those sensitive to such images will certainly raise their eyebrows a few times during Cloverfield.

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I found the movie to be a fresh and interesting experience. Some people have complained that it was too short, or the camera was too shaky. While it’s true that the movie is only 72 minutes long without the credits, and some people have literally vomited from motion sickness while watching the movie (see the picture above), neither of those two things bothered me at all. And what’s all this I hear about a bad ending? A bunch of senseless whining if you ask me. Cloverfield is a fun, intense, and innovative thrill ride of a movie.

Final Score: 9 out of 10

By Josh60502

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  1. October 21, 2008 at 5:18 am

    Odette Yutsman was my favourite in the movie, she was so hot and pretty and knew exact;ly what she was doing, thank God no one kiss her lol she my wife

  2. May 28, 2014 at 5:10 am

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