Saturday, February 2, 2008

In Defense of Cloverfield

I just finished watching Cloverfield for the 3rd time. I know it is a bit excessive but I loved the movie so much. Plus this time, I didn't have to pay for it because my parents did. So anyways, each time that I watched it, I took along a different group of people who had not seen it. Each time, someone from each group had the same reaction to the movie. Now here is probably a good place to put in a spoiler's alert. So if you haven't seen the movie and do not want to have the experience ruined, then go watch it before you read on. Anyways, everytime I have seen it, someone has complained about the ending. The usual comment is, "what? that can't be the end?" Now the ending of the movie is a bit bleak, with all of the characters dieing or atleast appearing to die. Also the movie does not explain why or what is going on. This leaves many movie goers upset. I believe this is because people are so used to being shown the whole story. But lets look real quickly at the idea behind Cloverfield, to see why being shown the whole story wouldn't work. First of all, the premise behind Cloverfield is that we are watching an unedited tape filmed using a camcorder by a normal human being. That means the movie is liking watching a home video that someone recorded. In this movie, we are getting a personal view of a big event. In a way, the camera is a character in the movie. In most movies, the audience gets to see things from a position outside of the movie. We get to see things that the characters in the movies don't see. But in this movie, we are apart of it. We only get to see what the character in the movie gets to see. Thus we come the ending, if the ending of this movie had been any different it would have ruined the entire experience. If the characters suddenly figured out how to defeat the monster, then it would have ruined the idea that these were just normal people. In real life, sometimes we don't have all the answers. Sometimes events happen that are bigger than us. Sometimes we find ourselves caught up in something that we don't understand. That is what I like about this movie. It brings up into a normal persons life as something huge happens all around them. We are not told where the monster came from or what happened to it, because the characters in the movie do not know. That is how true life really is. We don't know everything. But thankfully, there is a God who not only knows what is going on, He is in control of it. So next time you watch Cloverfield, don't worry about trying to figure out why everything is happening. Don't worry about where the monster came from. Just sit back, put yourself in the movie, and be scared to death. It's all good fun.

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