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Cloverfield delivers realistic rush

Warning. Due to the filming method used for “Cloverfield,” guests may experience side effects associated with motion sickness similar to riding a roller coaster.

This is the message currently greeting audiences at numerous box offices across America.

“Cloverfield” is undeniably one of the most intensely gripping 80 minutes of footage that has ever reached cinemas from a hand-held camera. As the visionary tool used to unfold the otherwise simple story, the camera work is either the glorified technique, or the annoying distraction.

As an unknown mammoth creature rips it way through the center of New York City, this modern day horror story is cleverly told through the eyes of a small group of friends and their simple handi-cam. When it begins, the most we know is that the camera was found in what was once known as Central Park. In essence, “Cloverfield” is just another monster movie. In execution, it’s a rip-roaring unique thrill ride. Getting past its ever important filming technique may still be hard for some viewers.

Like it or not, “Cloverfield” is a mouth-agape-film that abandons you in mayhem and never comes back. Its special effects will dazzle, but it’s only at the hands of its clever filming techniques. In “Blair Witch Project” fashion, the footage is the movie. It unfolds as if you were simply watching the unedited images captured by ordinary people. The pauses and stops in the tape cleverly reveal scenes that were presumably taped over, brilliantly revealing weight to the story of the characters. Like the casting of relatively unknown actors, the producers do everything to keep the film feeling as realistic as possible. Stylistically, the notable tactic of not fully revealing the source of fear only adds to the film’s edge-of-your-seat experience.

So much intricate precision was put into the making of this picture that it’s remarkable to see it extend even further in its marketing campaign. For a film that thrives on themes of the YouTube generation, producer J.J. Abrams (creator of ABC’s “Lost”) has masterfully designed a campaign that reflects the film’s construction. Viral marketing web-sites and a nameless teaser trailer from last year only added to the film’s intrigue. With all the surrounding publicity, “Cloverfield” truly is a unique roller coaster ride that never fails to live up to its hype.

FRIGHTENING FACTS:

Three and a half stars out of four

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