One of the first reviews of the movie Cloverfield.
Here is probably one of the first reviews of the movie Cloverfield, since it was “leaked”.Â (though it probably won’t make it onto Rotten Tomatoes.) A friend of mine has been living in Hollywood for a few years now. A struggling screen writer, she hasnâ€™t had a lot of success in Hollywood. Sometimes though, a friend invites her to go to early test screenings of movies. Sheâ€™s sworn to secrecy on most projects, and in fairness, aspects of the movies she sees may change, and sometimes the music or even the special effects are still being tweaked and finalized.
In this case however, they were told that the movie, Cloverfield, was done, special effects and all.Â They werenâ€™t officially told this, but her friend told her that they were finalizing the final cuts of the film, and a couple of plot points, to make sure their current version played well.Â They actually werenâ€™t even told it was Cloverfield they would be watching, only that it would be an intense, scary action thriller so they should only come if they are open to that genre.
My friend said she absolutely refused to give away major plot points of the movie- that it just wouldnâ€™t be right to betray their trust and the trust of her friend.Â (It was a pretty small screening, and they even had to sign a confidentiality agreement before seeing it).
Here is what she was willing to say:
1. the whole hand held camera approach, reminiscent of Blair Witch, really draws you in.Â It feels authentic all the way through in a way that most movies donâ€™t quite reach.Â She said itâ€™s like one more layer has been removed between the audience and the experience.
2. she said that makes it a veryÂ intense movie, without much in the way of moments where you can really rest and relax.Â Thereâ€™s a few that look like that but turn out to be different.
3. , she said that the shakiness of the camera does sometimes get distracting. It added realism, but sometimes she felt like, ok, give us a break. We get it, itâ€™s live footage. But hold the camera a little steadierâ€¦Â Even though it made it more real, it also kind of shot itself in the foot sometimes, because you miss out on a lot and itâ€™s really fast and shaky a lot of the time. Sometimes this effect was too frustrating.Â Some will probably not like Cloverfield because itâ€™s hard to watch amateur video for that long, and this is imitating amateur video.
4. No matter how hard they tried to make an original monster, and they obviously did, it still felt like a cross between King Kong, Godzilla and the Alien queen B. She said itâ€™s probably impossible to make a truly original monster these days.Â Most of the shots were so blurry and fleeting it hardly mattered anyway.
5. She wouldnâ€™t go into detail about this but she said the creepiest and most effective â€œmonstersâ€ were not the main monster but its Giant flea crabs. I asked her what she meant, and she said the monster has its own problems, kind of like fleas or maggots crossed with crabs or scorpions. They bug the monster, and then start bugging people. They are huge because the monster is huge, and they are much more creepy than the monster.Â They made the movie a lot more creepy. It wouldnâ€™t have held up the whole time without them.
6. The typical military show downs seemed a bit clichÃ©. Big monster, military shoots at it, monster gets mad.Â Â It also bordered on King Kong inÂ terms of a damsel in distress here and there.
7. She said definitely donâ€™t sit too close.Â The jarring camera really messes with you and can make you nauseous. Sit in the back. Unless you just want the full experience and donâ€™t mind getting annoyingly woozy.Â (she said she sat about a third back, and was ok mostly, but a few people in front of her moved farther back.
8. She said the acting was good, and the characters actually had some development, and that there were some flashback scenes for that.Â She said at a couple of points it felt like they tried too hard to develop the characters, as though they were trying to not be just another monster movie, which it was.Â Â Â She said it took itself a little too seriously mostly, instead of letting it lighten up, and not trying so hard to be a character movie also.
9. She said â€“ and this is pretty obvious- but she said she thinks it will be a huge hit- cultish- with repeat viewing- with teenagers. And successful with young adults. But pre-Youtube generation will be going what the hell was all that blurring around half the time? We could hardly get a good look at the bad guy.
10. Take some Tylenol or something before you walk in. All 3 of the people she talked with afterwards had head aches, and she did too.
Well, there you go. An early review ofÂ the movie Cloverfield.Â I asked her if she liked the ending and she said she didnâ€™t want to say anything at all about the ending, except that it was overall a satisfying and unique movie experience (her exact words). That sounded a little formal and canned to me, but thatâ€™s all I could get out of her about the ending.Â She did kind of have a smile in her voice, but I have no clue yet why.Â When I asked her for a rating, she said 3 out of 4, but definitely 4 out of 4 for trying something original and being â€“ I canâ€™t remember how she put it, but like Kudos for giving this a try, and it mostly succeeded.Â
Page Topic: Early review of the movie Cloverfield from a screen test participantÂ who leaked this review.