Posted by james on Feb. 12, 2008

(post.rating: 8)

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You've probably seen the teaser/trailer. If you haven't, you should. The minute I saw the preview (in the theater, no less), I really wanted to see this movie. I knew that these kinds of movies have a tendency to look great, but be incredibly awful and painful movies once them come out; but I had to see it anyway. I love disaster movies, especially ones that focus on the realism of what it would be like to actually be there, as opposed to an intense but distant big picture film. Most people compared the gimick of hand-held camcorder found footage to the Blair Witch Project, which I've never seen (probably for the best).

I really liked this film. It wasn't the most amazing film, and it borrowed pretty heavily from the monster-film/disaster-film genre, but it was still great and certain parts were simply unique. I imagine if this had been made into a typical monster movie (ala the Mathew-Broderick-featuring Godzilla) it would have really stunk and been mired in cliche, rehashed plot elements. But the amateur quality of the filming (which made Lauren completely motion sick) was only half of the gimmick I would have expected. The surprise was the choice in what to show, what to expand on, and what to leave out. There were plenty of tense moments in the film, lots of cuts and dropped conversations, but also there were times where I was just left wishing for more (like when the camera man is running with the camera pointed straight down). But that's part of the genius; if the movie showed everything, it'd just be a gimmicky monster film. But they way they shot it, annoying as it is, makes the movie better (just getting to see glimpses of the monster, or explosions at point blank range, or the kneeling leg of a soldier firing a gun 3 feet away).

Overall, I had very high hopes for this film (even though I tried to tell myself going in that it was probably just another boring monster flick). I have to say I'm not disappointed. I'm sure the novelty will wear off, and the extreme shake in the camera work means I probably wont want to watch it too many times at home. But I really do want to watch this one again, at least one more time. I'm sure Lauren wont, especially if she's had anything to eat just prior.