Friday, January 18, 2008

Review: Cloverfield

Cloverfield (PG, 83 minutes, Director: Matt Reeves)
Perhaps it was a slow year, but the hype machine has been working on overdrive for this monster movie, produced by JJ Abrams. A farewell party is disrupted by the arrival of an unwanted guest; a skyscraper-sized beastie with more than a bad case of fleas. Shot from the point of view of a hand-held cam, the movie is thankfully less jerky than that other classic of the shaking camera era, The Blair Witch Project. The cameraman accompanies his friend Rob on a search to save the trapped former squeeze Beth, and the group having close encounters with the chaos that the monster has turned New York City into. It has some effective moments, but calls upon too many monster movie cliches to move the story along. The main reason to keep watching appears to be finding out what the monster really is, and the film does give the audience that money shot moment when it reveals the monster in its entirety. Cloverfield doesn't live up to the hype, and fails utterly in comparison to the Korean monster flick The Host.
Rating: B-