Plotline: Something is happening in NYC, and no one's quite sure what to make of it. A group of friends happen to catch the events on film as they take place.
Scariness factor: It has a few tense moments, but they are fewer and farther between than one might think.
Gross-Out Factor: Minimal.
Complaints: The characters were a bit irritating in the way that characters from The Blair Witch Project also got complained about--I think a lot of it's just the nature of setting up the story as though the characters are the ones filming it. The logic of the movie doesn't make sense at times, at least for a film that's trying to be a fake-documentary-style movie. For example, when four of the characters retreat into a subway station for safety, THEY ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE IN THE STATION. Which is *really* goddamn difficult to buy in a city so packed-full of folks: That station would be JAMPACKED with people trying to take cover. So fah on that. The movie's not as high-paced and tense as I'd expected. It sort of is, but sort of isn't. The mystery behind what's going on in the city isn't all that interesting, especially since it's never explained (I couldn't decide whether I *liked* this fact or whether it was a too easy cop-out on the part of the film's writers). And I really had a hard time buying the fact that the video-camera lasted as long as it did, especially through the end of the movie. (I also had a hard time believing that the folks with the video camera would continue to make such a concerted effort to film everything the whole time.) Oh, and the camera-work will easily get you feeling seasick, you may want to take some dramamine before watching.
High Points: The video-camera usage *was* sort of interesting. It lent to the excitement of not seeing EXACTLY what was going on when it was going on, which lent the movie a LITTLE bit of spookiness at least. And I actually liked the framing of the ending of the film. Perhaps it wasn't unexpected, but it was kind of nice.
Overall: I could take or leave this movie. If you *DO* have some urge to see it, it's definitely something you'd want to catch in the theaters though, because I don't think it'll be quite so visually interesting on dvd.
I have also been urged to note that my friend MC (whom I went to see the movie with and who had been looking forward to seeing the movie for weeks) hated the movie to the point of anger, so much so that he very emphatically (and repeatedly) told me that I need to make sure I quote him in all his hatred of the film while reviewing it, that way people can understand what a horrible film it was and avoid it--so I quote:
"My hatred for the movie Cloverfield burns with the passion of a 1,000 suns." -- MC
So there you have it. Two reviews for the price of one.
Labels: C movies