Cloverfield (2008)
Directed by Matt Reeves

Starring Jessica Lucas Lizzy Caplan Michael Stahl-David Mike Vogel T.J. Miller

A 911-inspired horror movie if there ever was one, "Cloverfield" is PG-13 and normally wouldn't qualify for entrance into the Splatter 666 collection of splatter movie reviews. But it's so similar to better film released the same year "Diary of the Dead" it deserves entry. It was also part of a mini-trend of camcorder-filmed horror films that started way back in 1999 with "The Blair Witch Project" and revved up again with "Cloverfield", "Diary", "The Poughkeepsie Tapes" and the Spanish horror film "Rec".

Unlike the similar "Rec" and "Diary", this film trades gore for monster mayhem as a group of remarkably well dressed and attractive young people gather for a party in an enormous Manhattan apartment. I mean, these young people must work for Google or something, because to see people in their 20s with such an enormous apartment just makes you wonder how on earth they could afford a place so huge. Even with rich parents.

Supposedly filmed on a digital camera as a memento of the party, the film immediately gets us immersed in a love story before -- suddenly -- disaster strikes New York City in the form of a lizard-like monster. In the film's signature -- and best -- moment, the head of the statue of liberty goes flying into the city and lands smack dag on the partygoers' own street.

What's great and clever about "Cloverfield" is the juxtaposition of what looks like low budget camera-work with really high-budget special effects.

For splatter movie fans, the only reason to consider prioritizing this film on your Netflix queue is that it is part of a new wave of "hand-held camera" horror movies -- and was definitely the biggest budget movie in this subgenre. It is very much a pop film, despite its pretenses of alternativeness. Heck, it's produced by J.J. Abrams for crying out loud. But it's interesting nonetheless.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore


Posted by William3 on May 24, 2008
This movie sucked. It's one of those movies where you saw the preview....the Statue of Liberty's head rolling down the street....and they really picked the best part of the movie for the preview. It's got everything you hated about Blair Witch, the stupid self-absorbtion and shaky camera, combined with post-9/11 messaging, which makes the movie just totally irritating. This mini-trend of making movies via fake-camcorder is nearly as irritating as the mid-late 80's trend of including a fake news broadcast five or six times in every movie, a la Robocop II and a bunch of other movies of that era. If you want to rent this movie, go for's not the worst movie ever made, but if you have a TV less than 32 inches wide, you won't be able to tell what's going on because of the stupid camcorder "realism."

Posted by Dax on October 20, 2008
The only way to enjoy this movie is on the Blu-ray, the enhanced viewing mode gives you so much more story that it's a real shame it's not also available on the DVD. If you didn't like the movie the first time, I highly recommend watching this version, for those with access to a Blu-ray player that is.

Posted by megaballs on September 21, 2009
William3 is a blind child.

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