last night we all piled into the store, hunkered down, piled out, & cautiously made our way into manhattan to see cloverfield. we've been pretty excited about the potential of cloverfield for a while-- will j.j. abrams make a good movie, for instance? the lost formulae might be getting tired on television, but it seemed like it would make a good jump to the medium of film. then of course...the monster. who would it be? after the claim that it would be "american," the only truely exciting possibility was...cthulhu. would it be cthulhu? what if it was! how gutwrenchingly fun. seeing it at midnight was really the only option: who wants to go into hardcore spoiler prevention mode. not me. do you? i'd start now!
it isn't cthulhu: it is a brand new monster. for a second i half-joked that it was going to be the three monsters from rampage no, a completely new one, & that is fine, except it is also the biggest failing of the film, i think: the monster isn't that great. i mean, it is fine, but what...it is a guy with rickets? a thing with gross leg-arms? like sebulba, the pod racer? which...sheds minature versions of itself for no real reason? okay, fine. but wouldn't've something like this been better? so now the monster is out of the equation. for a glorious couple of minutes after the bridge gets smashed, you really think it is going to be cthulhu. that totally looked like a tentacle. it wasn't, though. & i'd seen the mock-ups of the monster online...i didn't feel like i had to avoid spoilers, since searching for spoilers was sort of part of the game, you know? they'll run their alternate reality sites, we'll try to bust them. sort of thing.
the plot, the film itself, without the monster, is good. i mean, i like the shakey cam movies-- i also liked blair witch project too. the characters were alright. i hated hud. i liked the girls alright. the main character was an okay cipher. the behavior of the soldier really took me out of it, though. i didn't accept that. over-all, i thought it was a good build of disaster & tension. i'd certainly recommend it, though i will easily admit that the spectacle (which was surprisingly little! the theater wasn't even packed!) was a big part of the fun. also, having to go to the bathroom for the last half might have effected me. i had to go really bad, so i was pretty anxious.
looking at horror films, especially of the "monster" stripe, as windows into the constant fears of their decade? that really appeals to me. terminator is the summary of the eighties- "getting work is hard! maybe because robots are taking our jobs! computers are complicated!" coupled right up with "i can't really conciously understand my fears of the cold war!" shake those together & you get post-apocalyptic time traveling robots. & what is cloverfield except a roaming 9/11? "the universe is senseless! buildings might just explode & i can't understand why!" of course, this begs the question of what the nineties horror exemplar is, & what it represents. i thought maybe aliens, as a sort of "corporations are so fucked up! so fucked up! they make you one of them! & also, only care about profit, even from selling monster-babies!" but that is another eighties flick. so i don't know.
i think the movie is really set-up for a sequel; the what-happens-if-you-get-bit thing wasn't really revealed, & there is plenty of room for the story to continue. i wouldn't mind that, but if j.j. abrams has a bone in his brain, i suggest he pick it, or take my essential kernal of advice: in the next movie, have there be two differet monsters. & have them fight. how much would i like to see that? i'd like to see that very much.
afterwards i went home, tucked into jenny & fell into a slumber.