Heavily hyped “Cloverfield” is a monster movie unlike any other, in that it hardly ever shows the monster. Instead, director Matt Reeves’ experimental film is told via the handheld camcorder of some friends, whose send-off party for a Japan-bound bud is interrupted by the arrival of “¦ well, something that plays demolition derby with Manhattan’s skyscrapers.
Imagine a Godzilla movie that showed the big lizard for maybe a minute of total screen time, never straying from a select group of the fleeing citizens. That novel POV down uncharted territory is what make “Cloverfield” worth a watch.
You’ll likely recognize none of the actors “ purposely, both to hold down the budget and to make it seem “real” “ but they’re mostly invisible, anyway, playing pawns in the spectacle that unfolds around them. Even if the cast can’t quite make the horrifying scenarios believable, Reeves puts them on a path from one trap to another in their attempted escape that thrills indeed are delivered.
The disc’s extra features include alternate endings with commentary from Reeves, who clearly had more ambition than a mere “things fall down” blockbuster.