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6 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
I'd see it again, 18 January 2008

Before I say anything, I feel I must call to attention a point that defines whether or not you will like Cloverfield.

In my opinion, there are two types of monster movie fans: People who like Alien, and people who like ToHo's Godzilla movies.

If you are a fan of the Alien-esquire genre, you get a rush from the mystique of clever plot devises, and the suspense of NOT knowing exactly what it is you're -supposed to be- scared of.

If you are of the ToHo Godzilla persuasion, you enjoy a movie with very few loose ends and a full-body shot of the monster within the first ten minutes of the film's beginning.

Allow to admit that I am a fan of BOTH. However, both will not get the same experience from Cloverfield that I did.

If you were in the percentile that enjoys rubber-suit Godzilla... I'm sorry. Its just not that kind of film. No, Cloverfield takes a refreshingly different direction with a genre who's light is slowly fading away into the mindless explosions and gore of films like AVPR.

Not to say that this movie LACKS either of those things. In fact, explosions make up a large portion of this surprisingly short film. It just chooses to present them to you in a much more realistic fashion (or, at least, as realistic as a movie like this can be). Plus the filmmakers use them to execute what I think makes this movie a standout, and ultimately genius... To actually HIDE the monster from total view for the greater percent of the viewer's time.

And HERE is where the Godzilla people will be disappointed. Don't get me wrong, seeing the creature immediately has its own advantages, but its honestly an overused devise. Movies like Alien, Predator (it pains me to put them so close together, but I'm going for a point here), and even Jaws/The Abyss have been intensely enjoyable in their own ways, with ALL of them have a substantial wait before the ultimate 'payoff' of seeing the movie's central focus... and Cloverfield handles this beautify. The viral marketing that has made it so popular only added to my curiosity, thus making that 'payoff' all the more enjoyable when I actually DID see the beast (sorry if that's a spoiler... but YES. You do get to see the monster).

The camera thing is another issue that seems to bother a lot of people. For those that don't know, its shot from the PoV of one man's video recorder. There's a lot of jerky shots, static, and the occasional jump forward (and sometimes, randomly, back). There's also a few times when the viewer is denied a visual of what's happening around the characters, even though it would seem relevant to do a quick pan towards the action. HOWEVER, one should keep in mind that the actual cinematography is MUCH better than the widely-compared-to Blair Witch, with the camera used being of a much higher quality (there are several scenes where its easy to forget you're be being toted around by one of the characters). I personally felt that this added to the whole premise of 'realism' the picture was going for. As in, the characters honestly were too scared or too occupied (with things like running, creaming, etc.) to attempt filming one thing or another. It'll work differently for different people, probably NOT so well with people that are prone to motion sickness.

Cloverfield does not offer you any answers, nor does it aim to. Its meant to keep the viewer guessing, and leave you with that small, slightly ignorant feeling at its end. This again will bother some people. I would have liked a bit more from it in that respect, but I understand why I was denied such.

All in all, I came out very satisfied. Whether or not you will depends on your type. Casual moviegoers will more than likely enjoy it, while die-hard fans will either love or loath it.

78 out of 101 people found the following review useful:
Not great, but not too bad, 5 February 2007

There is evidence to suggest that children... would really rather watch something else.

As suspense/horror movies go, this one isn't amazing. Its hardly original; more like Hitchcock's The Birds meets Verbinski's The Ring. Honestly. Its a perfect combination of the two.

Personally I'd recommend watching the afore mentioned separately, each being better alone than this film. Really, the only thing it seems to have in abundance OTHER than unoriginality, is cheap pop-out scares. I mean, yeah, its kinda fun the first time or two... but after about half a dozen, you start to wonder if there is anything else to be had.

The acting wasn't entirely horrible, I'll admit to that much. The Turner kids who played Ben are certainly entertaining to watch, giving a cute contrast to the grungy atmosphere of the movie. Cancer Man... wait... no, sorry, William Davis could have done better in my opinion, as could Miller... but considering the type of movie this is, one doesn't have a lot of room to nitpick.

As a quick side note, I DO commend this movie for not being gratuitously gory. Its rare to find modern movies in this genre that don't blatantly use blood and guts to invoke fear.

All in all, this movie isn't the worst of its kinda, but it is in no way the best. If you want cheap, minimal-gore thrills that will make you jump, go see it. If you're looking for a deeper, more thought-provoking thriller... I strongly recommend looking elsewhere.