(Review originally written at 21 July 2008)

Of course every big movie has a marketing strategy and whole team behind it but in this case it really seems as if it was the marketing idea that made this movie, rather than the actual movie inspired its marketing strategy. I don't know if it's true but I would suspect that the marketing strategy was already ready way before the movie got completed. It was it's mysterious marketing approach that made this movie one of the most anticipated and mysterious movies ever released. No one really knew what this movie was about, until the time of its actual release. Before that we got to see mysterious looking trailers in which nothing got revealed. For a long time even the movie its title was a mystery, with only the name "1-18-08" as the promotional title. But does the movie also lives up to its hype and expectations? In my opinion it seriously does and the movie is better than I even could had ever hoped for.

"Cloverfield" got made for a fairly low budget (about $25,000,000), which is mostly due to its approach. It's entirely shot with an hand-held camera and the movie is made to look as if it was shot by a group of 'bystanders' who happened to have a video camera at hand at the moment New York City mysteriously fell under attack. This of course gives the movie an unique as well as realistic look and feeling to it. It also helps that the movie its cast are unknowns, so you're never too sure about it who is going to die in the movie and when.

Despite its low budget, it's still a visually impressive movie. Buildings are collapsing and things are exploding- as well as the Cloverfield-monster itself is great and realistic looking. For most of the time you can only see her(?) tail or a leg but toward the end you of course get to see more and more, perhaps a bit too much at times. Too much because it at moments goes at the expense of the movie its realism. Where ever our main heroes go, there is the monster as well and not just miles away but often right next, or even right above or below them.

The movie is a very original new way to bring 'monster' movies. The movie isn't following a real script, in which it tries to explain everything. This provides the movie with an uncomfortable feeling and also makes it an unpredictable to watch. It's its approach and actual handling of the concept that makes "Cloverfield" such an highly effective, as well as a modern classic to watch.

Beauty about this entire concept as well is that you can bring countless more sequels without having to worry about continuity or characters. You can tell endlessly new stories, from survivors who shot the whole event with a video-camera. You can tell the same story basically over and over again that way from different angels, each time perhaps giving away some more information each time about where the creature came from and how, what and why all. A new Cloverfied movie has already been announced at this stage.

Already one of the best and also most original movies of this decade.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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