The innovative Cloverfield, which brought a whole new, personal style to monster movies, fares even better on DVD than it did in the theater. That’s because the film was shot as if by a guy who happened to have a camcorder with him when the monster appeared in Manhattan. Of course, even on the small screen, Cloverfield remains a truly intense experience, with its visual references to 9/11, its monster lice, and its very “old gods” looking beastie.
Cloverfield is unique as monster movies go in that it takes much more time to establish its characters than the average genre effort. This is because we have to know these people before we are plunged into the action with them. Since the only view of the action we get is from the point of view of the guy with the camera, we only catch glimpses of the monster – but are right there when one character gets mauled by one of the lice. The attempt to rescue someone we’ve seen only briefly on a bit of recording and for a few minutes at a party only makes sense if we know these people.
Overall, Cloverfield is a pretty special achievement in the monster movie genre, with its almost constant intensity and the intimacy of being right there with “The Man on the Street” as it were. The FX are amazing – and although we never quite see the whole monster at any one time, we see enough bits to be able to figure out its appearance.
Features include: Audio Commentary with Director Matt Reeves; Deleted Scenes; Document 01.18.08: The Making of Cloverfield; Cloverfield Visual effects; I Saw IT! It’s Huge! It’s Alive!; Clover Fun; Deleted Scenes; Alternate Endings, and www.cloverfieldfiles.com.
Grade: Cloverfield – A+
Grade: Features – A+
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