CLOVERFIELD (2008) Reviews and overview

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Cloverfield is a 2008 American found-footage style monster film directed by Matt Reeves, produced by J. J. Abrams and written by Drew Goddard. Before settling on an official title, the film was marketed as 1-18-08. The film follows six young New Yorkers attending a going-away party on the night that a gigantic monster attacks the city.

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The film is presented as found footage from a personal video camera recovered by the United States Department of Defense. A disclaimer text states that the footage is of a case designated “Cloverfield” and was found in the area “formerly known as Central Park”. The video consists chiefly of segments taped the night of Friday, May 22, 2009. The newer segments were taped over older video that is shown occasionally.


When the teaser trailer with the head of the Statue of Liberty was shown without a film title, but a reference to J.J. Abrams, many Abrams fans looked to the internet to find out as much as possible about the upcoming, mysterious film. Abrams launched a viral campaign using multiple internet websites to promote this film, each providing background details of the plot.

However, given the mysterious nature of the film and the viral websites, a number of theories were promoted on the blogosphere that were eventually proven untrue; for example, one hypothesis involved three Biblical monsters, one each for the sea, the land, and the air, instead of the single monster that came onto land from the depths of the sea.

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“Unmissable cinema does not have to be about mellifluous dialogue, intricate framing or enriching the mind or soul. It can just as legitimately come from a sensory experience like no other, that you can feel nowhere else but in that dark room in front of that silver screen. And you have never experienced anything like Cloverfield. Olly Richards, Empire

“Frankly,  I found there was less tension in this film than your average bowl of  spaghetti. Spend your money more wisely and buy shares in the Brooklyn Bridge. Cloverfield is an example of how hype sells a film to the total  exclusion of substance. Avoid, avoid, avoid. I’ve had more entertaining and  exhilarating tooth-aches.” Digital Retribution

“The panic-inducing you-are-there approach to an attack on Manhattan by a berserk, bizarre alien monstrosity – leveling landmarks, unleashing a secondary onslaught of parasites, and inviting increasingly indiscriminate attacks from the desperate military – found the dark and desperate heart of a genre too frequently limited to kaiju camp.” Sean T. Collins, Rolling Stone

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