Some character deaths are revealed in this review, if you don’t want Cloverfield to be spoiled don’t read on and just imagine you read a really good review/analysis of it. Just read the summary at the bottom. But now that you’ve read that you’re curious as to why I said it, now you really want to read the review. WELL YOU CAN’T COS IT GIVES AWAY WHO DIES!!
The first time I watched this movie I was dissapointed. More than dissapointed actually. Dissapointed is to how I felt about Cloverfield as a nerf gun is to a assult rifle, possibly a rocket launcher. I came in expecting an exciting action movie, and I got… well, it wasn’t that. Instead it was a movie taken from the perspective of a handicam in the spirit of The Blair Witch Project. In the cinima all the camera shacking gave me a headache.
But I watched it again on DVD a few nights ago and I think I get what the director was trying to do now. You should watch this movie like I did the second time. That is, alone, at night, in bed on your laptop (perferably the laptop is on you lap). By taking the movie from the perspective of a handycam held at roughly head height you can get inside the character more and feel what he’s feeling. It was probably a very consious decision to make sure that the same character had the camera for the mojority of the movie and to make sure that this character only get a few moments on film. Everything else aside, you assume that the person actually holding the camera is safe and you get a genuine shock when he dies (I had actually forgotten that happens the second time I watched it). You also feel what the character feels most more strongly, you get a real sense of panic when the monster is reaching towards YOU, not just some helicopter.
Kinda dumb guy: Wait. You know who Superman is? *sounds impressed/excited*
Girl he’s been hitting on ALL NIGHT: Oh, my God. You know who Superman is? I’m, like, feeling something. Are you aware of Garfield?
However, if you watch it in a movie theater, with a bunch of other people you’re too preocupied by their presence to properly connect to the characters. It’s also harder to suspend your sense of disbelief when you watch this kind of movie with other people. Cloverfield can either be a great movie, or a terribly B-grade heading-inducing waste of a time that could have been better spend clipping your toenails.
Summary: Watch it by yourself or not at all.