This Way to the Egress-erfield

This is what I don't get. Everyone bitches ad nauseum about how every movie Hollywood puts out these days is a remake, that there are no original ideas in the movie industry anymore -- and then someone throws together a string of commercials for a monster movie without showing the actual monster, and everyone jumps on their knees like Tri-Delts at a frat party.
Three things you need to know about Cloverfield.
#1. Once you see the monster, the movie is over.
Um, hello -- Blair fucking Witch Project much? Is anyone really chomping at the bit to shell out $10 this weekend to see a bunch of hipsters and pretty girls running, screaming, and cowering in hospital wards throughout lower Manhattan, or are you simply hoping to finally get a good look at the monster?
..Yeah, I thought so.
Well bad news people -- because all that hipster-hospital-ohmygod-what-is-it-why-us-what-did-we-do-to-deserve-this-where's-Heather-I-thought-she-was-with-you-she-was-just-here-a-minute-ago drama?
That's what you're gonna get.
Don't expect to see any more than an elbow or an asshole of the bad guy until at least the last half hour.

Because I gotta tell you, once you see him -- the spell will be broken. He won't be big enough, you'll see a zipper, the computer-generated edges will be too noticeable, he'll be in too many scenes where he's like 10 miles away and the whole "shaky cam" gimmick will only give you so much perspective on him...

Think about it: the main force behind this thing is the guy who produced Lost. You know, the show that had people on the hook for like 2 years and then told them that the evil killer presence walking around inside the tropical island was a polar bear.
Polar bear. Tropical Island.
Who doesn't love a payoff like that?
Seriously, have any of you been to a freak show -- ever? I'm not talking about that Lollapalooza Jim Rose bullshit where you pay $20 to watch some meth addict stick a carpentry nail in his eyeball, I'm talking about that tent outside the traveling circus that wants you to pay $5 to see the "Dog Boy" -- only to find yourself standing in a darkened room staring at some teenage hillbilly with a leash around his neck in a cage chewing on a bone with what seems like the kind of facial hair growth you'd get if you didn't shave for a month?

Maybe it's just because I live in Florida and I've been to the bait and switch capital of the world, better known as St. Augustine's Old Town far too many times -- but there comes a point where you start to wonder exactly why it is they are keeping this such a complete secret.
So yeah, after you're done seeing Cloverfield -- give me a call and I'll take you to see the
honest-to-goodness-no-that's-really-it-see-it-says-so-on-your-ticket Fountain of Youth.
Trust me, it's awesome (and huge, btw).
#2. If you want to see this movie, make sure you see it first or at least before your buddies/friends do.
Because by Saturday images of the monster and spoiler reviews will be everywhere -- and anyone you know who has seen it will be armed with the one fact about the movie you don't know, and even if they don't give it away (which you know they totally will anyways), you'll be able to read enough from their eyes to know too much going in.

The reasons movies like the Saw and The Sixth Sense tend to resonate with people is because the twist at the end is just icing on the cake. There's enough content or shocking moments in actual film to wrap your head around that the huge revelation at the end only really adds depth to the things you've already come to like about the film.
But think about it, every time you watch The Usual Suspects now that you know who Kaizer Soze actually is, doesn't the experience kinda pale in comparison to that first time when you didn't?
If you didn't learn your lesson with Blair Witch, think for a second about War of the Worlds (either the original or the Spielberg remake). The Tripods. They're monsters, they're huge, ruthless, unstoppable killing machines. We have to find a way to stop them before they kill us all. How are we gonna stop them?
..Wait, how did we stop them?
Oh yeah, we didn't. They caught the flu, and then just sorta died. Movie over.
Look, I know War of the Worlds is an old school sci-fi allegory that Speilberg ramped up and made into a bigger thriller -- but my original complaint about the story still holds, namely -- what's to stop the aliens from coming back to earth, buying some Sudafed, and then killing us all?
And if you haven't seen that flick and I just ruined it for you -- understand this is exactly how you're gonna feel when you're standing in line for the 3:00 show and some zit-faced teenager and his friends are walking out saying, "That was stupid, who would ever believe New York could be destroyed by a giant squid (or whatever it turns out to be)?"
#3. You've already seen it.
The director can dress it up any way he wants, but I'm telling you -- you've already been here, just with a different name:
I hope I'm wrong about this. Honestly I do. I love Giant Monster/Godzilla-style movies, and when I first heard about this thing started to get really jazzed for it. But honestly, once a marketing campaign these days gets past the viral stage and they're still jerking people around like this what it usually is means they've got something to hide. perhaps a crappy movie that could still pull good opening weekend numbers
if they can just manage to keep up this PT Barnum shtick for like two more days?
So don't come crying to me if you sit in a theater for an hour and a half only to realize that the creature that ripped off the Statue of Liberty's head and terrorized New York City turns out to be Larry the Cable Guy or Cedric the Entertainer on stilts.
..Or when they make 10 more sequels of it.
[Listening to:  Diecast"These Days" ]


Satorical said…
Finally caved and watched it. Once again, I'm convinced that I'm the guy who will survive the monster invasion/slasher rampage/meteor strike/volcano/disaster of the week.

In fact, Roland Emmerich? I fucked 'im.