Monster movies are a very hit and miss affair – for every Jaws, there’s a Megashark, and for every King Kong, there’s a man in an ape costume…
The best monster movie rule is that the film is often better if you don’t get to see the creature that much. The odd scuttling noise and creepy shadow is often enough to find the bravest viewer hiding behind a cushion. Cloverfield takes this approach – you see the monster infrequently and it’s the creature’s parasites which are the most terrifying things on the screen.
But does it work? Well, yes and no. The story follows a group of partygoers who go on a rescue mission across New York to find their friend, after a mysterious monster attack on Manhattan. The filming is handheld, in the style of Blair Witch Project, and reports as they brave their way past the destructive monster and get attacked by its infectious parasites.
It’s scary at times, and downright annoying in others – probably because it takes itself too seriously and is over stylised, but without the storyline to back it up. Great potential, but I came away expecting more.