I went and saw Cloverfield this afternoon with some buddies.
I liked it much better than Blair Witch, where the characters were so stupid they deserved whatever happened to them, you just wished it would happen faster. This one worked because the characters weren’t reprehensible, and while they were occasionally panicky and dumb, it was the comprehensible dumb of “something I’d do, against my better judgment” rather than epic dumb.
The central plot of course hinged on “going back for the cat”* which is also sort of dumb, but again, understandable and heroic dumb. I might do that. (Mind you, at the moment, I don’t have anybody I’d go back FOR–maybe Carlota, but she’s a sufficiently competent sort that I would expect her to A) get out just fine on her own, or more likely B) as we cowered in the middle of the street with a gigantic monster bending over us, there would be a sudden pause, and the monster would say “…Carlota? Is that you?” and she would look up and go “Xplog!rk’!n’rg? Wow! How long has it been?!?” and there would be hugs all around.)
The only Actively Oh My God The Stupid thing in the movie for me was when they left a perfectly good crowbar behind. Every adventure gamer knows that if you find a crowbar in the midst of the apocalypse, it is a gift from the gods, and you damn well take it with you.
Still, I enjoyed it, despite the depressing ending. (I was actually far more bummed by the death of the cameraman than of the protagonist couple. The camera guy was sort of a lovable doofus.)
Part of the reason I may have liked it is because while I’m fine with a monster movie, the minute they whip out the pseudo-science to explain exactly WHY it’s ten stories tall, I start gagging. My suspension of disbelief will happily allow for a thirty story monster, but chokes on the bad explanations. As no one had an explanation that I had to immediately find the flaws in, I was happy to go along for the ride.
I say go see it if you’re capable of enjoying a monster movie without a lot of eye-rolling. *grin*
*And if you haven’t seen Alien yet, god help us all.