I am a big fan of Sci-Fi movies, End of the World genre flicks, and sometimes good Horror movies. When I first saw the trailor I knew I wanted to see Cloverfield. However, after reading some reviews of it on IMDB, (careful reading some of these reviews there are lots of spoilers), I changed my mind. It sounded too disjointed, and like something that might cause me to walk away with a headache and motion sickness, something I am not willing to pay the price of a theater ticket for.
My kids, however, made a big deal about seeing it, and I found myself interested again, so I saw it today. I am not in the habit of doing movie reviews, but my preconceived notions about whether I'd like Cloverfield or not were so off base, I felt like I ought to post something.
The premise of the movie is that a group of people are throwing a going away party for one of their friends in New York City. One of the guys is given the job of recording the revelers, and so becomes the mode in which we see the rest of the movie, through the lens of his personal video camera.
This does mean that there is a lot of jolted, jerky scenes, and when I say a lot, I mean almost every frame. (Reminds me of when I first started using my own home video camera, I can hardly stand to watch some of these old movies because they are so badly done). Though Cloverfield obviously and intentionally makes the film bouncy and often hard to follow, it works well for the story being told here. If it were too smooth, you would not be able to believe these characters are running in terror, in fear for their own lives.
Though the cast, (Michael Stahl-David as Robert Hawkins, T. J. Miller as Hudson "Hud" Platt, Jessica Lucas as Lily Ford, Odette Yustman as Elizabeth "Beth" McIntyre, Lizzy Caplan as Marlena Diamond, Mike Vogel as Jason "Hawk" Hawkins) are not big name actors, they deliver a well executed performance. The dialog both before and during the monster attacks serves to connect you to the characters and give the sense that they might be people you know.
This is not a feel good movie, if you're looking for one you might want to check out something else. But this was, for me, surprisingly believable, and I might even like to watch it again. If my review were to count for anything, I'd give Cloverfield two thumbs up. :)