Saturday, December 15, 2007


a new extended clip of the film cloverfield has just been released at

i am totally stoked about seeing this movie, + have been since the first mystifying trailer, which didn't even name the movie, a few months ago.

online rumors have attempted to identify the threat as a terrorist attack or, once it became clear that it was some sort of monster, as godzilla or even the giant stay puft marshmallow man from ghostbusters. rumors persist that the movie may somehow be linked to the tv series lost.

the marketing of the film has been especially clever. keeping audiences in the dark. leaking bits + pieces of information through the internet. it's fascinating, too, that the film does not come with star power--neither the director nor the actors are famous ... so far the biggest name associated with the film is its producer, j.j. abrams, producer-creater of lost.

the concept is genius. a giant monster movie told from the point of view of a small group of partygoers whose celebration is interrupted by the monster's attack on nyc.

limiting the perspective is a great tool to enhance suspense + terror, witness daphne du maurier's short story the birds or the complete works of h.p. lovecraft. it even worked in steven spielberg's underrated remake of war of the worlds (which itself is genius for the first hour + collapses only because of spielberg's characteristic inability to end a movie satisfactorily).

let's just hope cloverfield doesn't wind up with the partygoers in the oval office with the president + a crack military and scientific team tasked with the destroying the creature.

some responders to the trailer comment how the film may be traumatic to many because of its parallels to 9/11.

but horror movies have always been indirect ways of responding to + filtering trauma--the original godzilla, the beast from 20,000 fathoms, + them! allowed audiences to face their fears of the bomb, without having to directly contemplate the real implications of atomic war, + invasion of the body snatchers + invaders from mars paralleled public fears instilled by the cold war + the rosenberg trial, as americans panicked that even their neighbors might be soviet spies, if not martians. arguably, 1980s slasher films similarly treated the threat of aids, as sex + drug use almost always foreshadowed grisly violence.

i hope the film itself lives up to the promise of its marketing campaign.

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