Cloverfield

Cloverfield is awesome!

There have been plenty of monster movies told from the perspective of ordinary people -- most zombie movies are, for example -- but I think this is the first giant-monster movie (or kaiju, as we say in Japan) that follows a group of ordinary New Yorkers as they just try to flee the city. The ubiquity of video cameras these days certainly makes the movie's central conceit plausible -- that is, the entire movie is filmed from the point-of-view of a consumer camera that the protagonists happened to be using to film a going-away party. (There's a funny shot when, moments after the decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty has come bouncing down the street, three or four other people are standing in front of it with digital cameras and camera phones.) The handheld camera and Hud's* voice constantly coming from just behind the camera really create a sense of intimacy that makes the terrifying moments even more frightening.

A lot has been made of the secrecy surrounding this film and the appearance of the monster ("Cloverfield" is, for example, just one in a series of code names the movie has had that just happened to stick). But I don't think are really any Sixth Sense-level spoilers in the film. Not that I'm going to give anything away, but I really think this film is much more about the journey than the destination.

FuzzyCo grade: A

* Chicago comedian T.J. Miller.

P.S. The one reason not to see the movie is if you get nauseous from hand-held camera work. Much of the movie is definitely filmed in shaky-cam and one of our movie-watching crew says he only saw about 10% of the movie, from looking away to avoid puking.