I was thirteen when Cloverfield was released. There was this mysterious viral marketing campaign that got me really excited to see this modern monster movie. I went with my dad the weekend it came out and was disappointed. It wasn’t nearly as awesome as I anticipated it would be. The handheld footage was hard to follow, it was gross, and it ended abruptly. I griped about it for months. Recently, I’ve heard some people give this film praise. I decided to revisit it and see if I still agreed with my thirteen-year-old self.
Unfortunately, my library copy of the DVD was damaged, so I lost a minute here and there. It wasn’t too distracting because it worked with the found-footage style of the film. The coolest thing about this movie is that it’s told from a single perspective. It gives the audience a sense of what it’s like to be in the middle of a major disaster: confusion, staying together, and forming plans. There’s also a strong political message: fighting the enemy can hurt the ones you’re trying to protect.
Sorry, thirteen-year-old me. You were wrong about Cloverfield. It’s pretty cool. But you were definitely right about Napoleon Dynamite. That will never change.