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(Late again, I know, but for Day 25 of NaPoWriMo, the prompt was to write a poem celebrating an occasion. Thus, the occasion is the end of the world, with the monster responsible speaking.)

Hello, all you humans and lovely to meet you,
And what an enchanting doomsday!
I hope you don’t mind it too much if I eat you,
The whole giant monster cliché.
I see you down there;
You can’t help but stare,
And I cannot blame you,
For I’m come to claim you
And wipe your whole species away.

You’ve had a good run for a few thousand years.
You’ve come a long way from the caves.
But civilization is fragile with fears
When nature no longer behaves.
Don’t cry since it’s done;
You’re wiser to run.
It won’t do much good,
But you did what you could.
I’ll be sure to dance on your graves.

MPA rating:  PG-13

Considering I have already seen and reviewed 10 Cloverfield Lane, an in-universe sequel with no direct connection to this film, I figured I ought to actually watch the original Cloverfield. Yet while the later film was presented in typical movie style, Cloverfield is a prime example of the found footage genre, with all the first-person interactions and disorienting shaky cam that goes along with it. The plot is paper thin as five New Yorkers (among them T.J. Miller, Michael Stahl-David, and Lizzy Caplan) are interrupted from their party-going and relationship drama by the sudden appearance of a giant rampaging monster.

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Cloverfield doesn’t reinvent its genre, but it’s still serviceably entertaining, with the best moments involving the horrifying beasts tearing through the city, shrewdly keeping them off-screen as much as possible to tap into that monster-you-barely-see tension. Yet its chosen format also comes off as hard-to-believe, as Miller’s character Hud continues to film every little thing long after any sane person would have put the camera down. For comparison, I thought The Dinosaur Project handled that well by making the cameras small and wearable rather than the eye-level camcorder here. I can appreciate Cloverfield’s best moments, such as the iconic Statue of Liberty head, but its repetitive, dizzying camerawork and grim ending make it less appealing than 10 Cloverfield Lane, which is a better film on every level.

Rank:  Honorable Mention

© 2021 S.G. Liput
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