A going-away party in Manhattan is interrupted when a mysterious monster of epic proportions launches an attack on New York City.

Year: 2008
Certificate: 15
Director: Matt Reeves
Starring: Mike VogelLizzy CaplanJessica LucasMichael Stahl-DavidT.J. MillerOdette AnnableTheo RossiAnjul NigamBrian KlugmanMargot Farley

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With the trailer for “10 Cloverfield Lane” appearing online last week totally without notice, I thought I’d take a look back at the original film. I’m happy to say that, even nine years down the line, Matt Reeves’ unique monster movie still feels as vibrant and vital a piece of film making as the day it day it came out.

The set-up is devilishly simple – a Godzilla-like monster movie from the perspective of a group of civilians – but it delivers the kind of thrills most creature features would kill for. The film follows a found footage style, which has been much maligned in the years since, but “Cloverfield” proves it can be a really effective, humanising – and often terrifying – tool when used with the right idea.

It helps that the film is very well made as a whole, the hand-held camcorder look is captured perfectly and the complex visual effects are integrated really impressively. By blending them with the natural blur of a home video camera, they look far more real than most glossy blockbuster effects and have a refreshingly dark and grungy look to them.

The young cast are also very good, both in the character-driven opening scenes and in the more spectacle-driven final sequences. They act with a real naturalism that suits the home video concept and their performances, along with the subtle writing, ensure we care about what happens to these characters once the lights start flickering.

“Cloverfield” is a brilliant spin on a well-worn genre and the kind of film found footage was made for.

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

About Benedict

Freelance culture journalist and Film Studies graduate. Netflix is his happy place.

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