Some Thing Stupid

19 Jan

So here’s my question: if some random monster was on the attack in your city, and you were running for your life, and you were filming everything on your camcorder, and it was nighttime … at what point do you turn the camcorder off and just run like hell?

That’s the question I found myself asking multiple times during Cloverfield, the new flick from the J. J. Abrams factory.

Essentially, Cloverfield is Godzilla crossed with The Blair Witch Project.

It’s a horror movie for the YouTube generation.

Rob is moving to Japan, and on the night of his going away party, a huge monster attacks New York, sending Rob and his friends fleeing from the scene in search of survival (and possibly Rob’s true love, if she’s still alive).

It’s all told from the point of view of the guy who was asked to document the party, and the guy is so good at it that he leaves the camera running after the attack.

And he keeps on recording.

And recording.

And recording.

Again, I ask you: at what point do you just shut the damned thing off?? About halfway through, someone actually says that to Hud (the guy filming it all), and he says he’s doing it because people are going to want to know what happened. (How very YouTube-friendly he sounds.)

But dude, tell me this: what’s the point of filming in a subway tunnel??

Alright, fine. You’ve gotta go with that gimmick if you’re going to see this movie. And you’ve gotta know it’s going to be “rough,” shaky footage that may make you queasy (as it did for Barry, who left the theater about halfway through).

And if the jittery camera doesn’t do you in, maybe the dialogue will. I mean, Hud is such a moron. Not only does he keep the camera going, but he asks the dumbest questions.

And sure, the “natural”/vérité look of the film is pretty convincing.

And the monster, when you see it, looks pretty cool.

And at 1:24, this sure is a short movie.

But yeah, the whole guy filming it all on the camcorder thing wears really thin very early on, before the monster has even attacked. And that pretty much kills what could have been a pretty cool monster movie. So even though the movie is short, it’s not short enough. I’m giving Cloverfield a very disappointing C.

(And no, nowhere in the movie is there an explanation for why it’s called Cloverfield. Also, despite what you may have heard, there is no reason to stay through the end credits. You’ll only be subjected to some rather awful music and an interminable list of names.)

3 Responses to “Some Thing Stupid”


  1. He’s Given It All He’s Got, Captain « Martin's Musings - June 27, 2012

    […] has clearly improved as a director since Mission Impossible III and Cloverfield, and this non-geek is excited to see where the crew of the Enterprise will boldly go […]

  2. Ghetto Gunfighters « Martin's Musings - September 20, 2012

    […] Sure, at certain points, you wish they’d put down the cameras and protect themselves (hello, Cloverfield), but if they did, this movie would be a lot less […]

  3. The Top 10 Movies I’ve Seen So Far This Year | Martin's Musings - August 3, 2016

    […] from me, except to say that I wish I wasn’t distracted the whole time by looking for all the Cloverfield tie-ins that aren’t actually there. […]

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