Starring: Michael Stahl-David, Lizzy Caplan, T.J. Miller, Jessica Lucas, Mike Vogel, Odette Annable, Clovie the Cloverfield Cloverer
Directed by: Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Let Me In; The Pallbearer)
Synopsis: A monster attacks New York and privileged hipsters must film or DIE!
I love it when scenes are shot like this, giving you just enough about what’s going on without overloading it. It’s the anti-Michael Bay.
Worst part: Hud talking.
Nudity: The monster is shamefully unclothed.
Overall: A lot of people give this movie a lot of unfounded flak. Yes, the buildup with the relationship drags out way too long. Yes, everything seems to weirdly happen to just this group of people, like the monster is following them. Yes, Hud is annoying. Yes, there’s no reason 96% of this should have been filmed by him. But if you’re willing to put down the stupidity of him always having the camera on and shooting everything while his life is in danger, then it’s really a fantastic giant monster movie, and probably the best one in the past several years. This movie just hits the right note with me. I love the way it’s shot (again, forgetting the guy constantly filming) and the overall feel of this huge event going on while focusing on just a handful of people (much like Signs, which I actually really like until the ending). I liked the parasites (also kind of dumb, but made for a cool subway scene) and the infection that makes people explode. Compare this movie to Super 8, which is a much more straightforward monster movie that is really pretty awful. Cloverfield hooked me and a lot of people in with its marketing campaign of puzzles and mystery, with everyone trying to figure out what the hell the movie was about and what the monster was (like people insisting it was a live-action Voltron movie, which wouldn’t make any sense to keep secret) and I honestly thought it paid off. If you’ve already seen this and didn’t like it or haven’t seen it at all, you should check it out and just clear the camera thing out of your mind and enjoy the ride.
Score: 9 fields of clover and monsters (out of 10)