Review: Why Cloverfield Sucks and why a Cloverfield sequel is needed.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I'm feeling generous today so I'll be generous enough to say that this article contains spoilers for Cloverfield. I've been getting a lot of mixed reactions about the movie so I might as well give a digest of what I've seen in the movie.

Cloverfield is a movie about a tape found in the aftermath of a "big monster" attack in Manhattan. The film itself is somewhat off the beaten track in a sense that the narration, character development, and plot movement is made almost invisible in the supposedly amateur-shot video.

People have been saying that Cloverfield failed the hype for two reasons: awkward camera movement and lack of a decent plot. Let's discuss that.

First reason is the awkward camera movement. I'll be frank. The reason people say it's dizzying to watch the movie is because it is. The director wanted a movie that is actually immersive. Face it, everybody has gone through that awkward shit moment when we try to remember (or somebody forces us to remember) an event by watching a video that got taped by somebody with the hand-eye coordination of a monkey suffering from epileptic seizure. It's this feeling that he wanted us to feel, to an ass-cringing level. Only reason why it sucked is that we have never really tried doing that on a screen with a surface area three times the size of your house.

Next. Cloverfield has no plot whatsoever. The monster appears, basically kills the shit out of everybody, and then the film ends. Whatever character development exists between those plot points gets nullified anyway after the death of, well, pretty much everybody.

As for the origin of the Cloverfield monster, I'm not sure if I'm right but there was a weird scene towards the end of the film where the sea was seemingly unnecessarily shot from the ferris wheel. Something splashed on the ocean, which could the the monster or something (Fuck you, Abrams) . It wasn't meant for the casual viewers, so it's not counted and that's besides the point. Cloverfield's plot, if it exists, is thinner than thin.

The reason why Cloverfield seemingly didn't have any plot is that the main point of the film is to deliver an experience, not a story. You remember the Hollywood Godzilla? Remember how much it sucked? Cloverfield fixed that by putting the PoV literally on the people that run around screaming "gojira" and end up getting flattened, blown up, or eaten. And in that angle, Cloverfield succeeded in making the audience feel how it's like to be down there instead of being up with the jets and choppers. Most films nowadays are story-based. Reality TV shows are partially experience-based. Cloverfield is somewhat like a simulated Reality TV show turned into a movie. Kinda like Survivor: Manhattan - Outwit, Outplay, Outrun a fucking big monster and not get eaten alive. You don't watch concerts to get a story. You watch it to get an experience. Same goes for Cloverfield.

You want to know the real reason why Cloverfield sucks? There's not enough lesbian action.

I demand a Cloverfield sequel.

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