Wednesday Rewind: Cloverfield by @destroytheearth

It arrived in an unparalleled storm of viral marketing and breadcrumb trails around the internet that made Carmen Sandiego look like a bungling happy slapper. It was orchestrated by a creator midway through a rise to superstardom that would see him run both Hollywood and the even-tougher TV market. It was a phenomenal success, but then sank to cult status on DVD.

Despite all this, it is the definition of the Marmite movie: you either love or despise Cloverfield. So, which verdict is more deserving? Hit the jump to find out:

Personally, I absolutely love this film. I mean, I've heard all the arguments: "poor man's Blair Witch Project"; "makes me dizzy"; "you don't even get to see the monster"; "you never find out what it's about, so why bother?". To you all, I say, you are pedants and Neanderthals. How, with all the paint-by-numbers rubbish in Hollywood today, with all the films that put the monster in a spotlight and banish any sense of mystery or terror,can you criticise a film with atmosphere and no easy answers? Did you complain that you didn't see the monster in Alien until the end too?

Meanwhile, the first-person viewpoint may not be original, but it is used expertly. Firstly, this isn't just the same format as Blair Witch - this isn't shaky, black-and-white footage -it requires more suspension of disbelief than that. The reason is that the film does make concessions for the thrill seekers; it does show you the monster, it does show all the action, even though the reasons for the characters to keep the camera running grow more and more spurious as the film progresses.

This is a big, dumb, action flick, but one that does it masterfully. The plot device of the recorded-over footage sets up the characters in record time, while the first-person angle both covers the cracks in the SFX and, at the same time, gives you both a greater connection to the terror generated by the film's events and a unique viewpoint on the giant-monster-on-a-rampage flick.

Make no mistake, this is an update of the Godzilla franchise; and it's a good one. Clover itself is a fantastic creation; the monster's design is brilliant, and the film manages to make it both an armageddon-level threat and a very personal one.

Above all else, what I love about this film is the depth of it; the amount that goes on behind the scenes. Have you found the garbled radio message over the end credits that leaves the film's end an even more desolate experience? Did you watch the ocean in the end scene on Coney Island for a clue as to where Clover came from? Have you read the comics that add to the involvement of Abrams trademark the Slusho Co?

If you don't like it, give the film another chance. It may not change your mind, but you may grow to respect it a bit more. If you enjoyed it, trust me, there's more to enjoy.

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