3 Reasons Not To Be Excited About Cloverfield

Not-Excited-CloverfieldLast night I put up a post listing my 20 most anticipated films of 2008, and some people wondering if I just forgot to put Cloverfield on that list. The short answer is no… I didn’t forget. It’s just not a movie I’m really anticipating at all.

NOW DON’T GET ME WRONG!!! I’M NOT SAYING THE MOVIE WILL BE BAD! Not at all. As a matter of fact it may end up being really great. However, there are a couple of reasons why I’m not really pumped about it before seeing it.

1) There’s nothing be be excited about.
The trailers have shown us nothing. Now, that might be a GOOD thing, and add to the experience in the theater when we see the monsters on the screen for the first time, and really get an idea of what the film is about for the first when we’re actually in the theaters. However, for now, I’ve got nothing to be pumped about. All I know is that there’s a big monster. That’s cool and all… but that alone isn’t enough to get me excited. I haven’t seen the monster. I don’t know what the movie is even about really… so why would I be pumped?

2) No Critic Reviews
I understand the rationale for this may go back to wanting to keep everything secret for the audience and increase the experience for those seeing it in the theaters for the first time… but history has shown that when a studio doesn’t let critics see a film in advance (by more than 2 or 3 days) it’s usually NOT a good sign. On top of that, without any positive word of mouth about the film, it’s hard to build my anticipation much for it. Turn your nose up at this reason all you want, but I think it’s a legitimate one.

3) It’s NOT JJ Abrams
It’s amazing how many people think JJ Abrams is directing this movie. He’s not. He didn’t even write it. The movie is being directed by Matt Reeves, and his only directing credits include the horrible “The Pallbearer” and a few episodes of Felicity (and a couple of single episodes of some other shows). Put people get pumped because it’s JJ Abrams! NO IT’S NOT! It’s being directed by a guy who only directed crap before. That’s not to say Cloverfield won’t be good… but why should my anticipation be high for a movie being directed by Matt Reeves???

So to recap. We’ve got a movie being directed by a guy who’s only other movies have been crap, with no advanced critic reviews and trailers that don’t actually show or tell us anything. Tell me again why I should be excited???

Like I said, this movie could RULE! And I hope it does. All I’m saying is at this point, there isn’t any good reason why I should be excited about it. How about you? Are you pumped for it? If so, I’m curious about why. Share thoughts in the comments section.

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33 thoughts on “3 Reasons Not To Be Excited About Cloverfield

  1. I totally agree and I could not have said it better myself. For those reason exactly I have not been hyped to see this film and I still can’t se why other people feel any different.

  2. Unfortunately, Cloverfield is all hype and will remain as it is. On the other hand, they managed to pull the marketing strategy off on the aspect of guerilla filmmaking ala Blair Witch Project and that’s what makes it more disappointing. Blair Witch was a success because they were the pioneers. But not this one.

    What they intended to achieve is to convey to the target audience what the monster looks like and where the monster is by keeping them guessing. That’s right – to keep em guessing. That’s the main reason behind the uncanny number of searches on the website. And they achieved that. Overall, the movie was crap. The digital video camera movements made a lot of people sick allegedly to make the movie realistic plus, the lack of monster exposure. JJ Abrams is disappointing.

  3. I personally thing that most people who have commented thus far are all victims of John’s manipulation. John purposefully puts up controversial posts that disagree with the majority in order to incite interesting debates in the comments section. Way to go John! I think it makes TMB that much more interesting.

    For all you people who commented about the movie, most of you are going to see it anyway just to see what it’s all about. Whether you liked the way they did the marketing for the film or not, that just goes to show how effective it actually is.

  4. I don’t really have much of an opinion about Cloverfield but one observation.
    Don’t people often complain that advertising campaigns reveal too much? Does anyone think it’s refreshing to go see a movie that we don’t know much about.
    Devin at chud has also complained that they’ve shown us nothing to get excited about. Well I think the sense of mystery is something worth getting excited about.
    I don’t have high expectations for the film but if nothing else I think Cloverfield is combating a negative trend if film advertising.

  5. Snakes On A Plane proved that sometimes viral internet based hype means nothing when it comes to the box office.

  6. It’s all just blind J.J. worship. You’re totally right on this John. The movie may end up rocking, but as of right now, there hasn’t been anything there to get excited about. I swear I had this conversation with a buddy the other day. He asked me if I was juiced for Cloverfield and I said “no”. He asked “why not”? And I just said “why should I be”? And that’s just it. There hasn’t been anything to get excited about. Nothing to be worried about either. Just nothing. The movie will have to speak for itself, because the marketing hasn’t done anything for me.

  7. I’m very excited about the release of Cloverfield. I think it’ll be the first big budget horror action movie to show the studios how powerful internet viral marketing can be. We’re all going crazy trying to figure out what the monster looks like.

  8. I think this viral marketing will backfire on them. Most folks don’t go to see a movie if they have no friggin’ clue what the movie is about. This whole “Let’s be MYSTERIOUS!” bit might bite them in the ass in the long run. Similarly to Soap, internet folks have been following the film closely, but the general public has no friggin’ clue what to make of this film. My local theaters don’t even have Cloverfield posters on display! Even if the movie is good, I dunno if it can match the furor that surrounded this film a few months ago. It’ll do better than SoaP, but by how much remains to be seen.

  9. I’ve maintained a close watch on the viral marketing for some time, sifting through what information is released every couple days or every other week. I have to admit I am very excited at the prospect of being there for the beginning of what could be the “new” Godzilla franchise.

    However, I have maintained that this basically hinges on which direction the movie decides to take in the end, whether its more of an emotional tale set against a monster giving New York the ass fucking of the century, or if its simply about a monster and his/her/it/Rosie O’donnels quest to simply break everything in sight.

    All in all if nothing else it should be interesting to see how many rediculous ideas from the hype were not connected to the film (IT’S A LION! ITS HUGE!)


  10. oh look, john’s disagreeing with popular opinion again, god knows future articles will include ‘remember when everyone got pumped about cloverfield and I didn’t….. blah blah transformers blah blah’

  11. I was just thinking this morning that the suspense and anonymity strategy might NOT be appealing to some…myself included. Since I don’t know anything about this movie even after watching trailers, google-ing it and wikipedia-ing it I eventually got turned off.

  12. I wonder if this little off-the-cuff “what if it sucks” vibe is sort of an awakening as to how many times we’ve been a** fucked by the hype machine in the past? Are we finally coming around? Finally able to see that, for months on end, we’re manipulated into a frenzy that ultimately won’t (and more importantly — can’t) pay off.

  13. If you’re even slightly interested in Cloverfield, do yourself a favor and check out The Host. It’s the best “monster” movie in the last five or ten years.

  14. I had been looking forward to this movie, but you do bring some good points. My fiancee says that you are her new best friend because she has been saying these things from the get-go and I held out hope.


  15. Is it necessary to pre-empt every article with “Now don’t get me wrong….”

    Just say what you feel, I’m sure the majority are smart enough to decipher that you’re not stating a given movie will be good/bad before seeing it. Yet if someone cannot spot that, and decides to throw a hissy fit over it and stamp their feet about it well then leave them to their own devices and move on.

  16. Here are my rebuttals to the arguments.

    1. They have shown us 3 trailers, a 6 minute clip from the film and about 9 TV spots, granted a lot of the tv spots are just mashups of stuff we have already seen with a couple of new scenes sprinkled in but still that is more content that we have seen from this movie then say 98% of the movies of which we only get a trailer and teaser.

    2. Well, there has been one legit review, it’s on aicn http://www.aintitcool.com/node/35100 (beware of some relatively minor spoilers) and it is quite positive and to quote the reviewer

    basically makes other head-biting-off-movies look like Georgia Rule with a peppermint cock in its ass."

    Secondly they are holding advanced screens all over US and Canada on Tuesday. Surely they have confidence in the movie to screen it to people instead of trying to trick people into going on Friday and getting maximum on the opening weekend.

    3. JJ has had his influence on this. Drew Goddard who wrote the movie is a writer on Lost and he wrote some of the best episodes of last season including episodes like

    The Man Behind The Curtain
    The Man From Tallahassee
    Flashes Before Your Eyes
    One of Us

    Any Lost viewer would recognize those as some of best episodes of the season. He was also a writer on Buffy and has a cult following. And for a tv writer to have a cult following is something unheard of.

    I’m not trying to be a Cloverfield apologist but I’m very excited for the movie. Everything we have seen from the movie so far seems pretty solid. I think next year when top 10 lists are being made this movie would be up there.

  17. I know all this and am still excited about it? Why all the hate John?

    1) It’s true the trailer doesn’t show much- It’s part of Abrams’ whole underground viral marketing thing- Keep the mystery up and let people do their own investigating. If you had investigated for yourself, John, you would see the extensive Cloverfield ARG has revealed almost the whole backstory of Cloverfield thus far.

    2) Who cares about critic reviews? Some of my favorite movies got bad reviews at the start- do I care? No! What do I care about a bunch of people who instead of making films all the do is talk shit about them. It’s easy to talk about films like you know what you’re talking about, but I’d very much prefer to wait and find out for myself thank you very much.

    3) Who cares if Abrams isn’t directing? And for your information I, as well as everyone I know who knows about this movie knows it’s not directed by Abrams- whats the big deal? 300 wasn’t directed by Tarentino but it still rocked everyone’s balls off.

    I really don’t see the point in this post John, you’re just kind of putting down a movie that hasn’t even arrived yet- let people find out for themselves!

  18. WHOA! Why is there this big rumor going around that that it’s JJ Abrams if it’s NOT even him. Is he attached to it at ALL????

  19. Your three reasons are pretty poor at best.
    The trailers are showing a lot more than you seem to think. Different information than we are use to is being released, at first it seems like we get nothing but it’s pretty clear now that those trailers/teasers/video blogs/news reports/etc.. contain more information than we know what to do with. Try to keep up at least.

    Who really cares if critics aren’t reviewing this film? For other projects such as the comic book adaptations it is very useful, but this type of film really doesn’t need it and we certainly don’t need news papers ruining the mystery a few days before release.

    Do you not understand the influence the producer has over the film?

    “Even if the film sucks, it will still sucker people into buying a ticket”. You’re not familiar with saturation release, are you? This is ridiculous. That is how almost every film is released now.

  20. I think its interesting to see how this film has been marketed. Ultimately if it is rubbish – it’ll sucker a lot of people who will be turning up on its opening to find out what its all about AND their marketing campaign has been very clever by concealing its crapness and making it secret. I was annoyed with the whole ‘JJ Abrams’ thing – but it will be enough to get what the filmmakers want – to sucker in people who will be seeing this film thinking its directed by JJ Abrams, kinda like when Tarantino ‘presents’ a film and the average Joe thinks its his new film.

    I’m not sure – could be bad, could be good. But fair play to the Cloverfield guys because I’ll be showing up to find out for myself.

  21. I was interested when the trailer first played before Transformers, but now I couldn’t care less about this movie. Viral marketing annoys me, and I’m not going to see this until word of mouth circulates.

  22. I had friends who don’t give a crap about keeping up with the ins and outs of hollywood call me and ask me about this trailer. I think the general public will respond pretty well to this. Gotta agree with Chad. Let’s give Matt Reeves a fair shake until we see the flick. I’m glad there’s an air of mystery behind it. If a monster attacked your city (not likely), people would be in chaos and no one would really know what’s going on. I think this film is trying to capture that. It doesn’t have to answer everything. Just be compelling.

  23. Hey Chad,

    Dude, I clearly said in my article:

    “That’s not to say Cloverfield won’t be good… but why should my anticipation be high for a movie being directed by Matt Reeves???”

    There is nothing to get excited about in advance about a guy who has only done poor stuff so far. It MIGHT be fantastic… but in advance it’s nothing to get excited about.


  24. im afraid that all the viral marketing can only lead to unrealistic expectations and letdown/disappointment. i worry about that with tdk too.
    hope im wrong.

  25. You forgot what I feel is the main reason to not be excited at all about this movie:

    Shaky cam sucks. Not unlike close ups during fight scenes, it’s an annoying gimmick and just leaves me thinking that the scene isn’t good enough (visually) to be shot with a steady camera.

  26. Dude, there are many great directors, who have given us some real crap for their first film. Why can’t a relative unknown who has had a bad film turn it around into a great directorial career. Can you say James Cameron and Piranha II?

  27. it’s really interesting to see the hype-tide turning a bit on Cloverfield. well…at least the speculation no longer being so rosey. I keep picturing some geometric curve where the hype and mystery sharply falls off to criticism and skepticism. very interesting to see it all play out.

  28. I love the site John, i don’t always agree with what you say (which is a good thing in my opinion), but i couldn’t agree more with the above. You have totally summed up what i was feeling but couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

    When done old sport!!

  29. I wouldn’t say I’m exactly excited, but here are two reasons that I am at least very interested:

    1) Can they do giant monsters justice? We (Americans) don’t really have any giant monster moives, except Kong and a really awful Godzilla remake. I grew up on the giant monster flicks on a local cable show called Creature Feature. It’s time for someone to do it, and do it right.

    2) I’m curious to see if the whole handheld camera gimmick will work. I watched a re-broadcast of the 9/11 events recently, in which they showed the first couple of hours of that mornings coverage exactly as it originally played out. I had forgotten how creepy and affecting that type of footage can be. If Reeves gets it right it could be a very effective story telling device. Not entirely original, as some other flicks have been shot in this format, but definitely the first with this type of scope and subject matter.

    Here’s hoping it lives up to the hype!

  30. Couldn’t agree more. The trailers look unimpressive. I kinda think because this has Abrams name on it and he was the creator of LOST, which also has a monster no one has seen people think this movie will be good Well that’s what my friends think atleast.

  31. Well i think the most important thing is, does anyone outside of the internet movie geek community (us) know about the movie? Are the regular American movie-going audience talking about it right now? Because it’s been a long time since they saw that teaser trailer with Transformers.

    Like i’ve said before, people in my country would think it was a brand of butter based on the title.

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