In 1999, the Blair Witch Project hit us with it's 16mm documentary type footage. Since then, many other films have used the tactic of amateur videography to help display graphic events in a film. CLOVERFIELD is obviously influenced by the aforementioned BWP's "run-and-gun-style filming" to tell it's tale. The tale of young upwardly mobile New Yorkers who witness the devastating destruction of their city by a gigantic, mysterious monster. This attack interrupts a going away party for the lead character, who was to be taking a job promotion in Japan. His best friend had been assigned the duty of recording the party for posterity. He ends up as the de-facto videographer of the horror caused by the villianous creature, and finally, the creature itself. CLOVERFIELD was the name given to the area formerly known as Central Park, where the video tape was found by the military some time later.
CLOVERFIELD the movie is visually stunning. The action sequences are terrific, the monster is terrifying, and the outlook is grim indeed. What a shame then, that the movie is undermined by one of the most elementary considerations in filmdom. It doesn't properly explain who some of these characters are. No one should be expected to do "Homework" on the internet to know and understand a character.
The party scene is long and chaotic, and when it spills on to the street, most of them are never seen again. Obviously there's the hero and the girl he loves. There's a loyal best friend, and a brother. The audience is left confused and unsure of anyone else's motives. CLOVERFIELD loses at least 2 stars from what COULD HAVE BEEN a legendary
sci-fi horror film.