I can't handle scary movies. Really, I can't. Horror movies are generally won't-sees for me, and monster movies are borderline. But, come on. It's J.J. Abrams. And with all the hype, how could I not go?

Cloverfield was fucking scary. I'm sure there are a lot tougher moviegoers out there who were not swayed, but I seriously could barely handle it. I was holding on to Captain Crash's right arm throughout the movie, and I think at one point I almost broke it.

The fabulous thing about this movie was the novelty: faces I'd never seen before, a monster I'd never seen before, and none of the usual predictable plot devices. Sure, there was a host of destroyed NYC landmarks, but that's almost de rigeur if there's a monster smashing up Manhattan.

We didn't get much of a backstory (or much of a conclusion, frankly), but that made sense in the framework of the storytelling technique. We are supposedly viewing a government-acquired videotape which was spontaneously recorded by a regular schmoe. The schmoes didn't know the backstory... so we don't know the backstory. Fine.

There was one glaring issue that just about took me out of the story: these people were dumb as falling debris. They did NOT behave as regular people (read: I) would have behaved... The military is evacuating the island, there's a weird-ass monkey-lizard tearing up the joint, and rather than leave with everyone else, they choose to take a mind-numbingly lunkheaded risk. I suppose without that one decision, there wouldn't have been much of a movie... but come on. I still rooted for them, but after that turning point I just couldn't identify with them.

P.S. The handheld camera thing almost made me hurl.
P.P.S. I was titillated by that Star Trek teaser. Ooooooooooooooooh!!!
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8 Response to "cloverfield"

  1. Fletch says:
    January 23, 2008 at 2:29 PM

    Don't want to mock you, but scary? Really? I thought there was one eerie moment (in the tunnel), but we all saw that coming. It was tense, though, so I'll give you that.

    True, cut out that risk and there ain't much of a movie left. I don't think it was the smartest thing in the world, but it's understandable.

    Like your widget!! ;)

  2. Nayana Anthony says:
    January 23, 2008 at 2:31 PM

    ok, ok. I did preface it by explaining what a wuss I am.


  3. Linda says:
    January 23, 2008 at 7:59 PM

    This was one intense movie. I thought the structure drew the viewer into a very personal, scary ride. I like monster movies, so I was so thrilled every time we saw the creep, and those nasty spider things were awesome!!! I saw this in NYC which made it pretty weird when we came out of the theater on to the streets! BTW, wasn't the motivation for risking going uptown love?!? Usually is ..... : )

  4. Nayana Anthony says:
    January 24, 2008 at 9:57 AM

    you're right, Linda. And those of us who've been in (and out) of love know how foolish it makes us. So does that guy deserve slack? I don't know. That voice mail message might have dissuaded me, especially after the intense death that had just been witnessed. (Not wanting to be overly spoilerific).

  5. Anonymous Says:
    January 25, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    Like you, I enjoyed this one on a visceral level. Where we differ though is when it comes to rooting for the humans. I couldn't stand any of them, and was ecstatic to see them picked off one by one. Ha!!

    Nice site you've got here. I've got a film review page as well. Check it out when you get the chance....

    Wine and Werewolves

  6. Nayana Anthony says:
    January 25, 2008 at 4:39 PM


    I smell what you're stepping in. I wouldn't be completely honest if I said there wasn't a teensy part of me that enjoyed seeing those buffoons getting "picked off one by one."

  7. David Bishop says:
    January 27, 2008 at 11:32 PM

    Attention: Spoilers within

    I'm an uberwimp when it comes to horror movies as well, but I didn't find this all that frightening. Mostly because I just don't believe in giant monsters from outer space(apparently you know it's from outer space because you see it falling into the ocean while they're at coney island at the very end [which also means that thing waited a whole month before coming to the surface]).

    As for the characters, I think love is very much a valid reason for why they choose to go back. Rob loved Beth. Hud loved Rob. Lily was destroyed by the death of Jason and probably needed to be near Rob for comfort(even if it means going through hell). After all, she did say that Rob was like a brother to her earlier.

    Marlena is the tricky one. She didn't seem to like Hud very much at the party. She had made it clear that she didn't know Rob very well, so why would she follow everybody in this suicidal mission? I think she just didn't want to be alone. The thought occured to me when Hud brought up that she was "supposed to meet up with some friends later" and she gave a sort of odd look. I wonder, was she supposed to meet up with friends, or was she going to spend the rest of the night alone? I think a combination of the traumatic experiences and a strong desire for campionship lead to her joining of the group.

    Ultimately, the story was about love. What was more important to Rob: Rescuing Beth, or making sure that Beth knew that he loved her? The open ended finale leaves you unsure if he succeeded in the former, but we can rest assured that Beth knew he loved her before the end.

  8. Nayana Anthony says:
    January 28, 2008 at 10:00 AM

    Chris, I'm totally with you on the ending... but still. Maybe I'm jaded.... but love? meh.

    And by the way, I bow to your awesome movie-watching skills. I totally missed the monster falling into the ocean at the end. I was probably too nauseous and ready to run to the ladies' room at that point to notice much of anything. Guess I have to give it another look-see.

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