AFTER Mamma Mia! and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I could be forgiven, I think, for almost losing faith in the cinema-going experience.
Appropriate, then, that the film that has restored it was viewed by me this evening not in the cinema, but on DVD. And given that Cloverfield is supposed to be a hand-held video camera’s view of an epic occurrence (an attack on Manhattan by a big, unidentified beastie), it was probably the best way of seeing it.
In this respect it’s a bit like The Blair Witch Project – intended to be viewed as an amateur’s take on dramatic events, rather than Hollywood’s. Of course, everyone in Cloverfield looks like they’ve come straight from the catwalk, but that’s par for the course.
It was riveting: scary, suspenseful, well acted, well written, funny in parts, original, almost believable. And I cared about the characters and their fate.
Given the hype surrounding it, I was prepared to be disappointed, but I wasn’t. Because of the hype surrounding Mamma Mia! and Indiana Jones, I had been expecting to enjoy, but I didn’t.
What does that tell you? Not much, except that sometimes it’s worth bringing a more experimental approach to movie making. Rent or buy Cloverfield and tell me I’m wrong.