Cloverfield is the most top secret movie of the 2000’s. From the mind of producer J. J. Abrams, director Matt Reeves, and writer Drew Goddard. Much like the similar found footage movie The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield became a success thanks to its unorthodox marketing campaign. I remember seeing the first teaser with Transformers. There was no title or indication of the plot aside from the now iconic shot of a severed Statue of Liberty head being thrown into New York City. Leading to tons of online speculation that I was never a part of.
Despite a brisk 1 hour & 25 minute runtime, it took me a very long time to finally watch Cloverfield. Mostly because the reveal was spoiled for me several times. Abrams’ goal was to make a giant monster for America similar to Godzilla. Clover is an enormous extraterrestrial quadruped hidden for most of the movie. Cloverfield is the military designation given to its rampage filmed on a handheld camera. Marketing could’ve gone the extra mile by making the movie seem like it was about a bunch of twentysomethings throwing a goodbye party. It’s pretty much a complete 180 when tragedy strikes.
A small group of survivors brave the city streets in a desperate attempt to escape the chaos. Rob tries to find his girlfriend Beth with the help of brother Jason and friends Hud, Lily, and Marlena. Though not as unknown as other found footage movies, Lizzy Caplan and T.J. Miller were the primary actors I recognized. This was actually Miller’s very first movie as the somewhat distracting cameraman who won’t drop the camera no matter what. Cloverfield is bleak and very tense especially when Clover releases smaller parasitic creatures in the subway. There’s not much chance of survival, but there’s always hope. Cloverfield turned a simple concept into something worth talking about.
Followed by: 10 Cloverfield Lane