Some people have derisively compared this film to The Blair Witch Project because it was all told from the point of view of someone's shaking camera. Unless you have motion sickness, I don't think that's a bad thing. What matters is who's in front of the camera. While The Blair Witch Project featured annoying people screaming at each other, this movie actually made me care about the characters. In fact if it had continued with the romantic drama tone established during the first half hour, I STILL think it would have been worth watching and that's the biggest compliment I can give it.Of course people will be watching this movie for the visceral pleasure and Colverfield delivers. Many thrilling visual and sound effects wowed me (there were a few times I yelled out in shock at a sudden scare). Any horror film will also benefit from a sense of entrapment and this movie pulls off the seemingly impossible feat of making New York City seem claustrophobic because there was seemingly nowhere to hide from the monster.What is the monster? Whatever it is clearly is meant to be an allegory for the carnage 9/11 inflicted on New York, much the same way Godzilla was meant to be an allegory for the damage inflicted on Japan by the atom bomb. There are moments seemingly recreating the documentary footage from 9/11, and they give the film verisimilitude. Touching upon real life horror, plus creating characters that we can relate to and care about, and assaulting our senses with incredible sights and sounds leads to entertainment worth watching many times over. Perhaps the 80 minute run time will bother some people, but on the other hand I think that's better than a film wearing out its welcome. Great job J.J. Abrams and company!
It was nice to finally watch movie that didn't seem like anything I'd ever seen before. This, much like Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" and "Children of Men", completely immerses you in this incredible situation with absolutely no knowledge to comfort you. It's very disorienting, which adds to the experience; you never figure out what the hell is going on but you're so into survival that you put it past you. You're placed with a bunch of characters whom you get to know and eventually must join in their frenzied search for a friend while being subjected to some horrifying imagery and new threats.The effects look great and realistic thanks to the hand-held camera, which isn't too bad-looking if you manage to get a seat further from the screen. The filmmakers came up with some really great creature designs that were menacing yet very much original. If you're bound to be upset over seeing a movie with a lack of music, then stay for the credits, during which a fantastic suite of music composed by Michael Giacchino titled "Roar! (Cloverfield Theme)" plays.All in all, a fantastic time at the movies. A little more background on the monster would be nice, though the absence of this information is intentional. Everyone in the theater was rooting for a sequel; maybe a second set of footage is found elsewhere? Or perhaps there is more the the viral marketing -- what exactly were Slusho and Tagruato? Also be prepared to suspend some disbelief, but considering the movie is about a monster destroying New York City, that shouldn't be too difficult.