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  • Writer's pictureAllan Major

Cloverfield 2008 Reviewed

Featured Image For Cloverfield 2008 Reviewed.  The movie poster for "Cloverfield" features the Statue of Liberty damaged and decapitated with a backdrop of a smoky New York City skyline and a cryptic tagline "Something has found us.
The symbols of freedom stand no chance when the colossus from the deep claims the city as its own.

The first time someone showed me "Cloverfield," it was like being shoved headfirst through a rabbit hole into a churning, kaleidoscopic horror dream. I left the movie with my ears ringing, a vague sense of nausea, and the persistent image of the Statue of Liberty's head bouncing down a New York City street like a gruesome, decapitated bowling pin.

Cloverfield 2008 Key Takeaways

  • The Impact of Found Footage: "Cloverfield" popularized the found footage format, demonstrating both its potential and pitfalls.

  • Heightened Realism: Shaky handheld camerawork creates a visceral sense of experiencing the events firsthand.

  • Frustrating Limitations: The restricted viewpoint can be disorienting and makes it difficult to fully grasp the scale of the monster and destruction.

  • Unconventional Storytelling: Cloverfield challenges traditional narratives.

  • Focus on the Ordinary: The film emphasizes the human experience of disaster, spending significant time on the characters before the monster appears.

  • Lingering Mystery: We never get full answers about the creature's origin or motives, making the movie open to endless interpretations.

  • The Destructiveness of the Unknown: The monster, seen only in fragments, is more terrifying because of its mystery. It represents the unpredictable and uncontrollable forces that can upend our lives.

  • Survival and Friendship: Under extreme duress, the film explores how bonds between friends and strangers solidify or fracture. It examines sacrifices people are willing to make for those they care about.

  • The Spectacle of Disaster: Even with its unconventional approach, "Cloverfield" delivers on the promise of giant monster movie mayhem. The destruction of iconic New York City landmarks is both shocking and visually stunning.

  • The Power of Ambiguity: The film's lack of traditional closure fuels audience analysis and discussion long after the viewing experience is over.

Woman with a terrified expression watches the movie Cloverfield.
The camera shook, her world shook. What was out there?

Let's be clear – "Cloverfield" isn't just a monster movie. It's a full-on adrenaline assault packaged as found footage. Matt Reeves' claustrophobic vision churns Blair Witch jitters with Godzilla-sized destruction, all from the viewpoint of a panicked cameraman named Hud. He's wielding his camera like a weapon as he and his friends hurtle through the streets of New York while an enormous, enigmatic creature levels the city.

The movie opens on a deceptively ordinary note: a group of twentysomethings gathered for a farewell party for their friend Rob (Michael Stahl-David). The camera catches bits of conversation, stray laughter, and lingering glances between Rob and Beth (Odette Yustman). It's charming, relatable, maybe even a bit mundane. Then the lights flicker. An explosion thunders in the distance. Panic erupts. Through the haze of smoke and confusion, we catch our first glimpse of the monster – an impossibly tall silhouette blotting out the stars.

What follows is a relentless, disorienting ride captured on Hud's video camera. The shaky-cam aesthetic, a staple of the found footage genre, was either a brilliant masterstroke or an instant headache depending on your tolerance for motion sickness. I straddled the line—both fascinated and mildly nauseous, like riding a rollercoaster with my eyes half-closed. This frenetic, ground-level perspective thrusts the viewer directly into the chaos. We never see the monster in its full, terrifying glory, just glimpses of its titanic form – a clawed foot leveling an apartment building, parasites the size of dogs raining down on screaming New Yorkers.

Man reacts with fear while watching the movie Cloverfield.
He thought he was just watching a movie... then the city lights flickered

Chaos On The City Streets

For all its heart-pounding spectacle, "Cloverfield" also slyly explores the human side of catastrophe. Rob, Hud, Beth, the slightly unhinged Marlena (Lizzy Caplan), and Hud's goofball pal T.J. Miller (who also operated the camera) are thrown together in the fight for survival. Between bursts of monster-induced terror, they navigate collapsing subway tunnels, makeshift military field hospitals, and the crumbling remains of familiar landmarks like the Statue of Liberty. Desperation chips away at the veneer of their everyday lives, exposing frayed nerves and long-held secrets.

The performances are remarkably grounded considering the outrageous circumstances. Stahl-David plays Rob with a desperate determination, Odette Yustman lends a heartbreaking vulnerability to Beth, and Lizzy Caplan makes you ache for Marlena's sharp edges and the fragility they conceal. Mike Vogel as the unflappable soldier Hawkins and, of course, T.J. Miller as the panicky but endearing Hud all deliver solidly within the confines of the unique filming style.

Producer J.J. Abrams, the king of mystery box storytelling, shrouded the film in secrecy. Cryptic trailers and viral marketing campaigns built an intense buzz in the months leading up to its release. The speculation was rampant: Was it a new Godzilla? A secret Voltron flick? This strategy was a gamble, but it paid off handsomely – the film was a box office hit, and while audience reaction was split, nobody could deny "Cloverfield" was a movie-going experience unlike any other.

Is "Cloverfield" a great film? It depends on your criteria. It's a dizzying, unconventional, and at times frustrating example of the monster film genre. But it's also ambitious, undeniably thrilling, and boasts special effects that will sear themselves into your memory. If you crave your cinematic mayhem with a side of existential dread, or relish the kind of movie that sparks debate long after the credits roll, then "Cloverfield" absolutely deserves a watch. Just take some Dramamine first.

And that is Cloverfield 2008 Reviewed. Another modern horror that either the fans love or hate. 

Stay tuned for more Horror Movie Reviews

If You Liked Cloverfield 2008 You Might Also Like These Films

  • 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016): A young woman wakes up in an underground bunker with a man claiming to have saved her from a global chemical attack. As she questions his motives, she uncovers a terrifying truth that may be worse than anything outside. This tense thriller shares the claustrophobic atmosphere of "Cloverfield" and keeps the audience guessing until the very end.

  • The Mist (2007): Based on the Stephen King novella, this film follows a group of people trapped in a supermarket after a mysterious mist descends upon their town, concealing terrifying creatures. Like "Cloverfield," it focuses on the human struggle for survival amidst an unseen, monstrous threat.

  • Monsters (2010): This low-budget sci-fi gem centers on a journalist and a photojournalist escorting a woman through an "infected zone" in Mexico, where giant, alien creatures now roam. The film shares the found-footage style and focus on the journey through dangerous territory seen in "Cloverfield".

  • Super 8 (2011): Set in 1979, a group of young filmmakers accidentally capture footage of a mysterious train derailment, unleashing a dangerous presence on their small town. Produced by J.J. Abrams, this movie pays homage to classic monster movies and taps into the themes of secrecy and the unknown that resonate in "Cloverfield."

  • Godzilla (2014): For the pure spectacle of a giant monster wreaking havoc, the 2014 American Godzilla movie delivers. The film offers a modern, visually stunning depiction of the iconic creature, with a similar emphasis on its devastating impact on a familiar urban landscape.

Cloverfield 2008 Reviewed FAQs

Q: What is Cloverfield about? 

A: Cloverfield is a 2008 monster movie directed by Matt Reeves and produced by J.J. Abrams. It follows a group of friends in New York City during a surprise party as a gigantic, unknown creature attacks the city. The film is shot in a found-footage style, entirely from the perspective of a handheld video camera operated by one of the friends.

Q: Where can I watch Cloverfield? 

A: Cloverfield is available for streaming on Prime Video. You may also be able to rent or purchase it through other digital platforms like Apple TV, Google Play, or YouTube.

Q: What makes Cloverfield unique? 

A: Cloverfield stands out for its distinctive found-footage style, reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project. This technique offers a raw, immersive perspective, placing the viewer directly in the heart of the chaos caused by the monster attack. It also creates a sense of mystery, as we only catch glimpses of the creature through the limited camera viewpoint.

Q: Is Cloverfield a found footage film? 

A: Yes, Cloverfield is a prime example of the found footage film genre. The story is presented as if it's recorded footage recovered from a video camera belonging to one of the characters, complete with on-screen time codes and the Department of Defense watermark.

Q: How long is Cloverfield? 

A: Cloverfield has a runtime of 84 minutes, making it a relatively short but intense viewing experience. The film's fast pace and relentless action mirror the characters' sense of urgency as they navigate the crumbling city.

Q: What are some key elements of Cloverfield? 

A: Several key elements define Cloverfield:

  • Monster Attack: The sudden, terrifying assault on New York City by a colossal creature of unknown origin.

  • Handheld Camera Aesthetic: The shaky cam, providing a raw and immersive experience.

  • Mystery: The film leaves the creature's origins and motives ambiguous.

  • Destruction: The spectacular destruction of iconic New York landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.

  • Central Park: The pivotal scene in Central Park becomes a desperate battleground.

Q: Who are some of the key figures involved in Cloverfield? 

A: Here are some of the important people behind Cloverfield:

  • Matt Reeves (Director): Known for his later work on films like "Let Me In", "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes", and "The Batman".

  • J.J. Abrams (Producer): A visionary filmmaker famous for his mystery-box storytelling style, involved in franchises like "Star Wars", "Star Trek" and "Lost".

  • Bryan Burk (Producer): Frequent collaborator with J.J. Abrams on numerous film and television projects.

  • Drew Goddard (Writer): Screenwriter known for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "The Cabin in the Woods," and "The Martian."

Q: Does Cloverfield have a unique storytelling style? 

A: Absolutely! Cloverfield's found-footage format and focus on the personal experiences of a group of ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances set it apart from traditional monster movies. The film's open ending and lack of clear explanations also encourage audience speculation and debate.


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