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February 11, 2008

Question: Have you seen Cloverfield yet?

If YES, go to Section A.
If NO, go to Section B.

Section A.
cloverfield.jpgSixth Sense, Fight Club, Um… The Village… I’m quite chuffed that I managed to avoid all the spoilers and plot twists attached to these movies. But in this day of forum hopping, blog splurging and Facebook meandering, you put yourself in more and more danger of encountering such eye-gouging, ear-ripping revelations. Thankfully, again, I managed not to with Cloverfield.

Not that there’s a massive twist as such (which might be the twist itself, I’m not clever enough to work that out) but the only thing I knew on entering the cinema was:
1. The name of the film.
2. It’s from Mr Lost.
3. Something terrorises New York.

And in fact, all I wanted to know from those I knew who’d seen the film was: Is it good, or shite? Everyone who’d seen it told me it was ace, and after that, I made them keep schtum. So glad I did because not knowing what to expect made the experience utterly fulfilling.

Aside from the fact that I’m sure they’d have dropped/left the camera ages before the end of the film (sorry, it’s an annoying habit of mine) the film is a masterpiece of its genre. I’m not usually one for monster/disaster movies, but this was ace. It’s relentless – you’re simultaneously trying to make out what’s on screen (thanks to the shaky-cam) whilst constantly being hit with terror after thrilling terror. It’s an absolute assault on the senses – did I hear what I thought I heard? What was THAT?! Did she just…??? I was left totally shattered but my mind just wouldn’t shut down.

But it’s comic too – the ‘camerman’ is the loser of the group, trying to get the girl and failing badly, always saying the wrong thing and making a delicate situation worse. It’s these moments of gigglesome mirth that make the horror and the wonderment even darker.

I love that throughout the film you see glimpses of the ‘monster’ – fleeting flashes that let your brain make up the rest. But nothing NOTHING that you imagine could prepare you for the eventual reveal! It’s a monstrous hybrid of Predator with lizard with multi-human – reminiscent of the horrific scene in one of that Alien film (4??) where we see the monstrous Alien/Ripley mish mashes – except on a monster scale (in all senses).

You’re left in no doubt from the start that the main band of four don’t make it – the camera has been seized by the US military from a section of New York ‘formerly known as Central Park’. But when the inevitable happens, it’s still horrific. Mostly because throughout, a story of another time (and what could have been another life as it turns out) flashes in between shots of the terrifying chase through the city’s streets.

Eagle-eyed viewers will apparently see the moment the monster arrives on the planet, crashing into the sea behind the happy couple, a month before their end (I didn’t actually see this, but Mr Badger was taunting me with that little nugget for a good half hour after the credits rolled). Speaking of credits rolling – did anyone catch what was said after the credits? I heard “If anyone’s out there” whilst Mr B heard “There’s more of them…” Also, why ‘Cloverfield’?

So all in all – not a film I’d care to see again, purely because it took a lot out of me (still tired now, so excuse the ramblings) but a definite must-see. But you knew that already – you chose section A, right?

Section B.
It’s good, not shite. Keep your eyes peeled, wait til the end of the credits and listen carefully.

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