big scary monster kitten

Monster movies fall pretty squarely into the Must See category for Andrew and his cousin, and so an outing to see Cloverfield has been in the works for a while. Yesterday we hit a matinee. I was a little disconcerted to read the signs in the lobby upon our arrival, noting how the movie makes use of shaky camera work, which may cause motion sickness in some people. As a result, moviegoers had 30 minutes from the start of the film to leave, and they could still receive a refund. Hrm.

They didn’t lie on that front. The entire movie was “filmed” via handheld camcorder, frequently while the operator was running. You kinda got used to it after a while, and figured out when to just relax your eyes or look down at the bottom of the screen when it was really bad. Oh, and suspend disbelief that people would keep filming even if it impeded them from running for their lives.

Andrew and his cousin really liked the movie, even thought it was the best monster flick in some time. (I am trying and failing to think of when the last good monster movie came out.) I can’t say as I liked it that much, though. Nicole said she didn’t really connect with the characters, which I can agree with, though I didn’t really expect to — I don’t have a lot in common with pretty, upwardly mobile Manhattanite yuppies. 🙂

And I didn’t have any problem with the monster, even though it can be really easy for them to be cheese-tastic or overly CGI’d. I won’t ruin it by saying what the monster was, mostly because it wasn’t something you could easily label anyway.

The one thing I appreciated most about the movie was that it just happened. They focused on the action in the here and now (with the exception of some “accidental” cut-in footage), and didn’t bother trying to explain where the monster came from, why it attacked, what happened after, etc. Of course, there were unmistakable 9/11 connections in the film, the most visually arresting being a street full of coughing, stumbling people covered head to toe in dust, with a background of rubble and smoke after one of the early attacks.

Definitely a movie in the Blair Witch vein, where the company and atmosphere make it or break it. Not sure it would be very engaging at home on the small screen. For those who’re bigger fans of the genre than I am, not a bad way to spend a couple of hours. Of course, we have to wait til May for the next round of really good stuff…

1 Comment on Sometimes it’s best when you don’t try to explain.

  1. Sounds like you had a similar experience to mine. As for great monster flicks, I would say that “The Host” is a much better movie. If you guys haven’t seen it yet I highly recommend it. (If you can’t find it let me know I think we may have it at home)

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