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It's been a long while since I've shared my views on a movie (last one was Narnia), but if you'll indulge me, there's somethings I need to say about this movie. If you want to have a look at the spoilers, bump up the text size a notch or two and don't read this inside feedreaders. Some of them strip down
style information. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Last summer, there was a huge buzz online about this weird, eerie trailer that had preceded the Transformers movie. The trailer surfaced online a bit later and everywhere around the web you could see people speculating about it. That's where this whole hype started. And rightly so... what's better than to have every thrill-seeking movie-goer biting their nails off for six long months?
I'll only scratch the surface to avoid spoilers, but I'd like you all to know that the best thing about Cloverfield is not what it does... it's what it doesn't do. That would be explaining. Just like you wouldn't know much if you were caught in the middle of all that, the screenplay isn't guided so that the viewer understands what is happening, where the threat came from and what exactly are the military trying to do to protect us. None of the usual clichÃ©s of disaster movies.
You're not watching a movie, you're experiencing the disaster with them. specially if the theatre has loud speakers and make the room rattle a bit.
Oh! Speaking of that... I don't believe this movie would be half of what it is if it weren't for the sound. It was astonishingly good. <tiny spoilers!> The monster muffled stumps when they're in the subway, the military sending a rain of rockets towards the monster, helicopters flying over their heads, a tank being squashed like a bug... I could go on. Seriously. </tiny spoilers!> It all made a lot of sense when I noticed during the closing credits that the sound effects were done by Skywalker Sound, a LucasFilms company. That explained a lot.
I have to say, before watching this, I thought it would be Godzilla meets The Blair Witch Project. Now, I know, it's Children of Men (character pov) meets Godzilla (monster) meets 9/11 (mass hysteria).
<tiny spoiler!> Also, to conclude, it was remarkable how they found a way of telling a love story without much whining. By letting us know that the documentary was being taped over some kind of romantic memories, throughout the movie they throw us quick glimpses at their previous lives. Remarkable touch, I tell you, remarkable. </tiny spoiler!>
My final advice is, if you can handle great suspense, sudden rushes of adrenaline and loud bangs, you're in for a treat. Not only is it scary, it's clever too. You might want to stick around for the closing credits. It features an amazing overture performed by the Bratislava Orchestra, which compensates for the required lack of musical score. And if you can, stick around to the very very end. ;)