Part-giant monster movie, part-9/11 parable and part-faux documentary about the toll that catastrophic death takes on humans, ‘Cloverfield’ is, more than anything else, a damn intense ride for the entirety of its lean 78-minute running time (not including ending credits).
Movies about giant monsters wreaking havoc on unsuspecting populaces are certainly nothing new, but they are not usually as somber or as unpredictable as this one.
Two traits make ‘Cloverfield’ stand apart; one is clever, the other unfortunate.
The first is that the entire film is shot from a handheld camera, ostensibly by one character who is intent on preserving a record of the night’s unfortunate events, even if it means those watching are likely to develop motion sickness from his inability to use a tripod.
The shaky-cam style, similar to that seen in other faux-documentary projects such as the ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ and NBC’s ‘The Office,’ is almost clich