Cloverfield Movie Review: Leaked Early review of Cloverfield from a screen tester

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”.  (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 hasn’t had a lot of success in Hollywood. Sometimes though, a friend invites her to go to early test screenings of movies. She’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.  They weren’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.  They actually weren’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 wouldn’t be right to betray their trust and the trust of her friend.  (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.  It feels authentic all the way through in a way that most movies don’t quite reach.  She said it’s like one more layer has been removed between the audience and the experience.

2. she said that makes it a very  intense movie, without much in the way of moments where you can really rest and relax.  There’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, it’s live footage. But hold the camera a little steadier…  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 it’s really fast and shaky a lot of the time. Sometimes this effect was too frustrating.  Some will probably not like Cloverfield because it’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 it’s probably impossible to make a truly original monster these days.  Most of the shots were so blurry and fleeting it hardly mattered anyway.

5. She wouldn’t go into detail about this but she said the creepiest and most effective “monsters” 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.  They made the movie a lot more creepy. It wouldn’t have held up the whole time without them.

6. The typical military show downs seemed a bit cliché. Big monster, military shoots at it, monster gets mad.   It also bordered on King Kong in  terms of a damsel in distress here and there.

7. She said definitely don’t sit too close.  The jarring camera really messes with you and can make you nauseous. Sit in the back. Unless you just want the full experience and don’t mind getting annoyingly woozy.  (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.  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.    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 – 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 of  the movie Cloverfield.  I asked her if she liked the ending and she said she didn’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 that’s all I could get out of her about the ending.  She did kind of have a smile in her voice, but I have no clue yet why.  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 – I can’t remember how she put it, but like Kudos for giving this a try, and it mostly succeeded. 

Page Topic: Early review of the movie Cloverfield from a screen test participant who leaked this review.

24 thoughts on “Cloverfield Movie Review: Leaked Early review of Cloverfield from a screen tester”

  1. Definitely a waste of money. People were saying we should all ask for a refund after the movie. A very disappointing ending. The worst movie I have seen in years!

  2. I don’t know what you guys are saying i thought it was a wicked sick movie. Exciting from the beginning to end. the end left you guessing, but if you thought about it it definitely made sense the way that they ended it. Overall one of the best movies I’ve seen. Very unique.

  3. cloverfield is a terrible movie because it tried to ‘wow’ its audience by making it look like it was shot with a handy cam but what they forgot to do was write a script that could stimulate anyone over the age of 10. It had this raw, realistic visual presence but it focused on a cliche group of rich, young adults who are extremely boring in character who are running away from a monster and they dont even have any interest in what it is or where it came from

  4. This film was the worst i’ve ever seen. I asked for a refund and got it….dont see it. trust me save your money…use it for another movie….I can’t belive the people who made this film just robbed the public of 40+ million dollars. And you know what….in the end ….we are the fools who paid to see it…

  5. i thought cloverfield was a pretty cool movie but could of been alot longer i wouldnt pay $10 or more too see it but i would pay half price to see it again i say this because alot of the movie theater around my area only let you see the movie once which totally doesnt make any sense when it comes to the amount they charge you to see a flick other then this cloverfield was a great movie

  6. I went to see it with two friends and we were unbelieveably disappointed in the movie. First, we paid top dollar to see this travesty only to be subjected to 20 minutes of previews before the movie and only a measly 70 minutes of Cloverfield. JJ Abrams must have forgotten that he was filming a motion picture and not an episode of “Lost.” The movie should have been discounted for how short it was. Second, and more importantly, Cloverfield is absolutely terrible. JJ Abrams reputation took a massive hit with me, and I’m a big fan of “Lost”. I can’t believe any studio actually watched this movie and thought that it was good enough to release to the public. The studio must have decided that it was too late to save this movie and decided instead to adopt a well-thought-out marketing program. The marketing program was actually better than the movie itself – all the best scenes of the movie are in the trailers. Everyone would be been better off watching the trailers for Cloverfield in the comfort of their own homes for 70 minutes rather than actually going to the theater to watch the so-called movie . . . . that’s how bad this disaster of a movie really was. The worst part is that JJ Abrams is in charge of the next installment of the Star Trek series – but I won’t make the same mistake twice and pay to see a 1 hour episode of the adventures of the starship Enterprise, as filmed by Spock with a handheld digital recorder. Sorry JJ, but you’re going to have to do better than this to become a real director!!

  7. This movie is a TOTAL WASTE OF YOUR MONEY!!! I took the entire family and I should have gotten up and asked for my money back!!! (plus two Lortabs and a glass of water for my headache!!!) Somebody’s “artistic camera shake” was WAY OFF BASE!!! Don’t waste your time OR MONEY!! I will never go blindly to a JJ Abrams movie again!! Big LETDOWN!!!

  8. If you are looking to be entertained. Go see this movie. I really dont understand what everyone is complaining about. THe movie was AWESOME, i went to see it with a group of friends at one of the Times Square Theaters and we could not stop talking about how awesome it was after we left. It leaves you thinkging and it has you on the edge of your seat the entire time. I def. do NOT regret going to see it!! :-)

  9. Terrible movie! I left after 30 minutes of watching it. I was nauseous and had terrible headache. Don’t waste your money!

  10. Wasting time and money, I vomited three times and got a bad headache. The most stupid show I ever seen, don’t even bother to get a refund. NOT WATCHING ANY JJ Abrams movie anymore!!!! A BIG SICK SUCK MOVIE!!!!

  11. The only way i can see it being a bad movie, is if they just stop at just CLOVERFIELD….
    i walked into the movie with question mark above my head and left the movie with one as well…
    i think that they need to make more point of views….if you think about it, they were in new york city….im sure, out of millions of people, somebody besides those few people had video camers….
    some survivers* would be nice and get some of those people’s story…
    killing off the main characters…one by one..that was pretty good..
    and the ending…its not like it was out of nowhere…operation hammerdown was already mentioned and they just couldnt make it to be them…

    I WANT MORE!!!!!

  12. Loved it. Favorite movie of the year. The narrarator totally makes it worthwile. It just entertains the hell out of me how he gets funnier as he gets more freaked out.

  13. Guarantee if you live in NYC and see this movie it brings back some 911 memories. as in this movie looked real. if you live else where
    i can see you saying it sucked. as for me i now have a plan B to get the f… out of this city .

  14. I am 50 years old, and thought this was one of the most amazing, suspenseful, innovative, and best made movies of our time. Those of you ‘so called critics’ who didn’t like it, need to get a spell check on your computer. You show your ability to appreciate great art through your lack of intelligence. To those of you who haven’t seen the movie, there is no musical soundtrack, and yes, the camera is a bit jumpy; all the more to draw you into the most realistic, intense movie experience you’ve never known before. If the acting, and the special effects were not as dynamic as they were, the movie would have been flawed, (Blair Witch) but they were superb. Imagine the work that went into it. A shaky camera, and the fx graphics had to match frame by frame. An Academy Award should be nominated to the effects crew for pulling it off. And the cast, (even the extras) should get the recognition they deserve for upholding the realism. I can guarantee you, I will definitely spend another 10 bucks on it before it comes out on DVD, just to savor the theatrical experience again. And when it does come out on DVD, it will be a priority addition to my DVD library! IT IS ONE AWESOME MOVIE EXPERIENCE…

  15. Basically, it SUCKS!
    The whole thing is just about shaking ur mind off, nothing worth the money and time. DO NOT WATCH IT!!!

  16. This movie was somewhat horrible. The party was too long and when the action started happening it was confusing and the end was even dumber we dont even know if the 1 other girl survived. The carring the carmera around was not so smar yit should have been used sometimes but not through the whole movie. I did like the bridge park though it was crazy. But this movie left me with mnay question like where was the monster how did he get here what the hell is cloverfield how if bitten u were infected what happened if the infection goes all the way and like what the hell happened at the end. Movie was a waste on my 99cents. BAD MOVIE BEWARE

  17. Whoever said this movie sucked must be crazy. I saw the movie several times even after losers like you warned me about how much it sucked. It’s truely a great film and the best part about it is how it was filmed.  Thats what drew me in. It felt real. It had a great story to it and I thought the ending was well thought out.  All in all, I say go watch it again and really take it for what its worth. A good film

  18. WOOOOOOW!!!! I am sorry I have to disagree with everyone who said this movie sucked!!! You must not know a banging ass movie when you see one!!! This here is a classic! My heart raced the entire time. The way it was filmed was sooooo awesome!!! The ending brilliant… they nuked that damn thing YES!!!! I would love to see a sequel… I am not sure what they would do but I want more….

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