Monday, February 04, 2008

Mind you head

The poor old Statue of Liberty. I think I did a blog post about 5 years ago when I lamented how often she gets mauled. And lookit - she's lost her head again!

I saw Cloverfield at the cinema on Friday. It's a bit like the Blair Witch Project, but with a much bigger cast and budget - and set in New York rather than the woods. It feels scarier than a lot of other horror films for a number of reasons - it's filmed "realistically" (if such an adverb can be appplied to a monster invasion). Very little information is given so you are as confused as the other characters in the film. No big name actors are in it, so you don't think "Oh it's Tom Cruise, he won't get killed off", as you did in War of the Worlds. And some of the scenes are very reminiscient of 9/11 footage. The first few minutes of the attack, which interrupt a rather mundane going away party, are the scariest, althought the sense of suspense is kept up throughout after that point.

I was rooting for Marlena (Lizzy Caplan), a rather sulky miss who spends the first part of the film looking bored and fending off the sad advances of uber-loser Hud Platt (TJ Miller), who is the one holding the camera for most of the film. Hud gets most of the funny lines in the film. Will the monster attack bring them closer together? Or will they both die horribly?

I also liked the too-clever conceit of the tape occasionally cutting out to bits of earlier footage that had been recorded a couple of months previous to the attack, where a perfect day is juxtaposed with the living Hell of New York. There's also a very relevant bit in the earlier footage - although blink and you'll miss it.

I didn't know why the film was called Cloverfield, but apparently it's a reference to the fact that clovers often grow on sites that have been heavily bombed.

My friend and her husband went to see it and she emailed me to say that he spent most of the film with his hands over his head, rocking and nearly left halfway through.

This is one of those films that seems to have divided opinion - personally I liked it - even if the shaky camera did make me feel a bit sick - sit near the back if you suffer from motion sickness.


Snippy Bitch said...

Totally unrelated to this (although it was a fun film) but I thought that I should tell you that there are a series of new Girls Will Be Girls short films online.


Lost Boy said...

Yeah I quite liked it too. My other half LOVED it but I couldn't whip up as much enthusiasm, probably due in part to my reading of the synopsis before I went to see it (I don't like surprises).

Sparky said...

I really liked how they avoided showing the full monster, and even avoided any good looks until later in the movie. It really added to the suspense and the chaos of it all. It makes me wish that dozens of low-budget b-movies made in the past could have used their low budgets for this kind of suspense instead of just finding dull ways to avoid effect shots.

Lubin said...

Thanks for the Girls Will be Girls tip - one of my favourite films! Glad to see Evie and Coco haven't changed.

Snippy Bitch said...

Isn't it though?

I have you to thank for introducing me to them.

Long may the writers strike reign if we get more Coco and Evie action, although I do miss Varla.