Other than a few stand-out films, I’ve really tired of “found footage” movies but my wife wanted to rewatch CLOVERFIELD; so I decided to see if it still held up after not seeing it for awhile. I’m happy to say that it still does.
The first 20 minutes of the movie are still a chore to sit through, but once the attack begins the movie kicks into high gear and never quite lets up. It maintains a good intensity that keeps you on your feet and is adept at ratcheting up the tension when necessary.
I also completely buy the rationale that the TJ Miller character would continue filming even when in peril, that being to document an important moment for posterity. Another thing I appreciated was when their friends die; there is a true consistency in the character’s emotions.
An issue I have with many horror films is that a few scenes later the characters don’t seem to mourn the death of a friend or loved one. The characters in CLOVERFIELD are devastated by the losses and make decisions later in the film due to it. This helps to keep the reality of the situation alive and made me care and root for them even when they are making not exactly rational decisions.
I like the technique of the momentary breaks in the narrative to reveal footage previously recorded on the camera that give us a glimpse of a doomed love affair. It’s extremely clever and inventive (and believable).
Plus if you look closely, there’s a clue in one of the early scenes to the horror that will soon be coming in the days ahead.
My only complaints are that the film is a tad on the short side. It’s barely 84min. and 11 min. of that are end credits. Also the ending is a little too abrupt for my tastes. But these are minor squabbles for a film that deftly employs “found footage” to its fullest potential. It’s worth watching.