is one of the coolest movies I have seen in a long time…and honestly I have no idea what I saw.
Let me begin by saying almost ten years ago my wife dragged me to the theater to see this “home-made” horror movie called The Blair Witch Project
. It was about some college kids looking for a witch who murdered a bunch of kids and now the woods were haunted. I left the theater with a splitting headache and motion sickness. The idea was pretty clever but the cast and video camera style made it almost unwatchable. Not to mention every other word was the F-bomb. So when I saw the previews for Cloverfield
and heard it was the same kind of film making, my first thought was NO WAY!! Then I saw JJ Abrams name attached, then I saw the movie poster, then I heard all the hype…and I just couldn’t resist. I am so glad I went to see it. The video camera actually worked for me…it wasn’t too “jumpy” and it made me feel like I was there with them. The dialogue sounded like real dialogue and I know as much as the characters involved.
O.K. here’s what I know. Rob Hawkins (Michael Stahl-David) is leaving for Japan so his brother Jason (Mike Vogel) and some friends plan a surprise party. The surprise party is a hit filled with attractive 20-somethings in a very cool New York apartment. Rob’s love interest, Beth (Odette Yustman) finally arrives with another guy, which sends everyone scrambling. Rob and Beth meet in the hall and talk about life and love and the future. I know all of this because Hud (T.J. Miller) has been giving the thankless job of documenting everything with a hand-held video camera.
The party is interrupted when a violent jolt sends everyone into a slight panic. Their attention is turned to the TV where the initial reports are of an earthquake hitting New York City. Several partygoers head off to the roof to check things out when a fireball explodes on the distant building sending flaming debris their way. Confusion gives way to serious panic as everyone stumbles out into the streets, where they are almost crushed by the head of the Statue of Liberty.
Rob is determined to find Beth, whose apartment is in the center of the disaster, but the closer they get, the more intense it becomes. In the midst of the all the confusion, panic, fear and determination…the video camera rolls and we experience one of the wildest and scariest nights ever.
So what is causing all this damage and terror?? I have no freaking idea!!! I know it’s big, ugly and it’s nothing I have ever seen before. I know little creatures drop off of the big one and those little creatures are fast and furious. Oh, and I also know you don’t want to get bitten by them.
Without a doubt Hud is my favorite character. He has some very funny lines like he asks Rob, when Beth sees monster and screams, “What is that?” Hud replies, “It's a terrible thing.” Moments later they encounter one of the little monsters and again Beth screams, “What is that?” And this time Hud says, “I don't know! Something else! Also terrible!”
I actually liked walking out of the theater not knowing everything and left wondering “O.K. really, what the heck was that thing?!?” I loved how there wasn’t some “expert” who had all the answers and in one brief monologue brought us all up to speed. I loved that I was with a group of average people who were living pretty average lives who were just trying to survive. And I love the non-stop action from beginning to end…or at least to the credits.
Unless you are living under a rock you know there will be a Cloverfield 2
…I am both excited and apprehensive about the sequel.
SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
The PG-13 rating is for violence, terror and disturbing images and I certainly would not take my 10 year old to see it. It is not very graphic, it is however, very intense and most of the conversation at the party is intended for an adult audience.
As said above, we don't recommend your kids see this film. But on the occasion that they actually have already seen it, you may want to dialogue about the film with them. These questions below may be a help to you.
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):
- What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?
- How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?
- How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?