Indiana Daily Student

Monster mash

"Aw, man! I hope this battery lasts long enough for this shaky emo video to end up on YouTube!"
"Aw, man! I hope this battery lasts long enough for this shaky emo video to end up on YouTube!"

The fervor surrounding "Cloverfield" has been building since the mysterious teaser trailer appeared with "Transformers" last summer and producer J.J. Abrams took the viral marketing to a new level with odd Web sites' mysterious posters. Slowly, bits of information reached the masses, while the biggest question was whether the film would actually be good and not just a genius marketing ploy. Thankfully, "Cloverfield" is a bit of both.\n"Cloverfield" tells the story of Rob (Stahl-David), a 20-something on his way to becoming the vice president of an unnamed company in Japan. To celebrate, Rob's brother Jason (Mike Vogel) and Jason's girlfriend Lily (Jessica Lucas) throw him a surprise party as Hud (T.J. Miller) documents it all on film. Suddenly, Manhattan is attacked by an unknown entity, leading to a military evacuation. As the creature terrorizes the city, Rob's friends follow him through the carnage to rescue the love of his life Beth (Yustman), while Hud documents the entire ordeal on camera. \nThe most hyped part of "Cloverfield" is the destruction that takes place once the monster arrives, and it doesn't disappoint. The entire film is from Hud's point of view through the handheld camera, and the shaky movements are jarring and hard to get used to. Once you do, though, it feels like you're in the midst of it all. The angles allow for the monster's look to be kept a secret throughout most of the action, which furthers the suspense. \nThe action sequences and computer graphics of the monster look good for all that is actually visible through the smoke and shakiness of the camera. The producers tried to make everything as realistic as possible, and they succeeded with the look of the monster and its mini-creatures. \nThe film's most negative aspect is its characters. Before the monster hits, we're given 15 minutes of so-called development where we learn about Beth and Rob's one-night stand via the tape in the handheld camera. But you don't go to see "Cloverfield" for its "Dawson's Creek"-esque storyline -- you go for the thrills. Once the carnage begins, the characters' lack of depth makes it difficult to care about them, especially when they're in danger and you're waiting for them to die in a cool way. \n"Cloverfield" isn't a great film, but it shouldn't be judged as a film. It's more of a thrill ride. Throughout the short 75-minute running time, it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Once it's over, you'll feel like you were hung upside down and beaten with a large club. But, chances are, you'll like it.

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