Cloverfield ★★★★½

One of my favourite found footage movies and also my favourite Godzilla movie. Part monster horror with a good chunk of romance and some comedy thrown in. I remember when I first saw this film, the marketing had done a fantastic job of keeping the plot under wraps, releasing small teaser trailers but giving very little away so I really didn't know what to expect. I just sat and watched, mesmerised as the film unfolded, the carnage and panic all too real as the streets of NYC are turned into a warzone.
The film follows six friends with complicated relationships whose's night turns to chaos when some sort of giant monster rampages it's way through New York. We are first introduced to them at a party and the film only really spends 20 minutes letting us get to know the characters but by the time the first 'earthquake' hits we are already invested in them, that's why the movie works so well, the film has an emotional core and the characters are relatable. The 6 young actors all do terrific work with T.J.Miller as the kind of unintentionally funny guy who always puts his foot in it and who acts as our guide throughout the film and Lizzy Caplan as the uninterested object of his affections are the standouts but Michael Stahl-David and Odette Annable give the film a love story to root for. The fact that none of them were well known at the time helps with the films unpredictable quality.
The film is also full of plenty of memorable scenes, the Statue of Liberty's head being used as a bowling ball is now an iconic moment, I also love the scene where they leave the relative safety of the shop and head back out to the dust filled streets where people are wandering about disorientated in total shock, it feels like a real moment of calm before the storm and then there's the great, surreal shot of the white horse dragging an empty carriage through the deserted streets or the scene with the rats deserting the subway tunnels and you know something bad's en-route. That's not even mentioning the night vision picking up the fucking spider-monkeys or the cracking shots we get of the monster towards the end or even all the little great moments between the characters.
Overall, this is just a hugely entertaining monster movie that just immerses you in the chaos, full of thrills and tension, it features some creative creature design (I'd still love to see a more direct sequel that delves into the mythology of the monster) and characters we actively care about. If you haven't seen this film yet, there really is no excuse, get onto it pronto.

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