The biggest challenge with Cloverfield was to avoid getting it spoiled for me. Considering all the marketing and hype surrounding it, this was not small treat. It came out in January and I managed to watch it in September without anyone online, in real life or in an article would tell me what was destroying Manhattan in it. So let me ruin it for you, in case you have not seen it. Just kidding, won’t do that.
It was an effectively wrote, shot, acted, and CGI-ed movie. The writing was good enough to start care for the characters, even when their interrelations were not entirely clear yet. The handheld shooting, all mimicking homemade videos was the most valuable in creating a documentary feel. But I could not resist thinking that this method was inspired by the European dogma filmmaking school, where it was used differently to tell personal stories in a more intimate, natural manner. Here the purpose might have been the same, but the fact that it is a catastrophe movie created a whole new meaning. From a purist point of view it was confusing. I liked though that I was not familiar with any of the actors. That again contributed to the home-movie feel: I did not associate any fo the faces to the actors’ previous roles. The CGI effect started of subtle and distorted and in the distance, to be scary enough and they were a bit of a disappointment, when we got to see the cause of the destruction up close.
This was a fun movie, with new ideas, execution and people. I would not watch it again though. Having watched it once the tension in me built up probably exactly the way its creators envisioned. It would just not work the same way again.