“Cloverfield” stars a young and talented cast that includes Mike Vogal, T.J. Miller, Jessica Lucas, Odette Yustman, and Lizzy Caplan. It features Matt Reeves’ directorial debut and is written by Drew Goddard.

The movie opens with film that has been found in Central Park in Manhattan, New York and displayed by government officials. On the film, a going away party for Jason Hawkins (Mike Vogal) is interrupted by an earthquake that shakes the building, all of this being documented by a friend of Jason Hawkins named Hud (T.J. Miller). The party heads to the roof to see if they can see anything and witness an explosion that sets this monster movie in motion.

Most people are quick to reference this movie to the infamous Blair Witch Project, which is totally appropriate considering that they stole the concept. However, this is more real and intense than that. At one point they refer to terrorist attacks, which is what most people’s first reactions would be to an unexpected explosion that occurs nearby. The jittery camera work does varnish the realistic effect, but this is used very excessively and will probably nausea to those with motion sickness. I don’t have that problem, so I had a great time. I felt like I was there, actually getting the urge to run from this hideous, but undeniably gorgeous, monster. A movie has never been so frighteningly real.

Buckle yourself in, hold on tight, and don’t hit your head on the ceiling, for this is so intense you will not be able to sit still. It was so much better than I expected. To cope with what’s going, the documenter resorts to some humor while others panic and loot. How much more real can you get? Truth be told, I loved it. You get an excellent shot of the monster, which is very frightening, yet engaging.  It has many jump out of your seat scares and genuinely surprising moments where I caught myself holding my breath, then gasping for air. This happened repeatedly. It’s a more innovative and shocking sci/fi horror movie than any other out there. My heart was pounding, my palms were sweating, and I was in complete awe. What more could you ask for from a horror movie?

Surprisingly, I cherished the shaky camera work. I was never lost and knew what was going on at all times. That’s impressive considering the camera becomes tilted at several different angels. Many questions are left unanswered (where did this monster come from and was it government related?), but this is forgiven when a movie delivers something deeper than goosebumps. I know that this is a bold statement, but it’s one of the most frightening monster movies made in decades. The acting was solid and the director did fantastic job at making a masterpiece without one scene feeling choreographed. Heart pounding terror filled the core of my bones as I nearly fell off my chair. Thank you Hollywood for finally making the ultimate monster movie.

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