|Fig. 1 Cloverfield Poster|
|Fig. 2 The group of friends with one hidden behind the camera.|
|Fig. 3 Mirroring 9/11.|
As previously mentioned in the introduction, the film can be considered as an allgory of the horrific and devastating attacks on the world trade centre in New York. In one scene the film visually encapsulates the visceral horror that was the toppling of the towers. Robert Cattl explains that "The vividness of the collapsing tower scenes and the depiction of New York City in the grip of a national emergency recurred in, of all things, the non-terrorist monster movie Cloverfield." (Cattl, 2009:291) he goes on to say that the "monster-movie wreckage in Cloverfield...abstracts 9/11 almost completely just as much as it visually evokes it." (Cattl, 2009:274) This whole scene, from the suffocating ash cloud to the people just wandering the streets outside like zombies, is an almost exact visual representation of the experience of those witnessing the destruction. Though there are clear visual reconstructions of the event on 9/11, the abstraction that Cattl refers to is seen within the monster itself. John Berra believes that "J.J. Abrams' edgy tribute to classic monster movies from Hollywood and Japan, Godzilla has been ingeniously and chillingly recontextualised for a post-9/11 world." (Berra, 2010:210) This is exactly the case. The monster is a physical manifestation of the foreign intruder on American soil. It was a foreign element that took control of the planes that destroyed the towers, and it is the nations fear that another unknown, unpredictable force would come in and destroy their lives again. This monster is that force, and it is through the experience of the characters that the audience sees not only the destruction of the city but the effect the intruder has wrought upon their personal lives. The moment when the male protagonist Rob has to tell his parents that his brother was killed by it, the helplessness that they experience when one of the female cast is unpredictably killed because of it. These are all small elements that the public had to experience on that day that makes not only the characters easier to relate to but the whole situation as well.
|Fig. 4 Rob's social networking page.|
Though the social networking site is incredibly surreal it really acted as a way to pull the audience in deeper with the characters. Before the film was even released they could get to know them through that website that not only contained comments from friends but photos of them too. This style of film making and advertising is really intriguing and so thrilling when it is discovered by the viewers that it leaves them excited and awaiting what could come next.
List of Illustrations
Figure 1. Cloverfield Poster. At: http://www.postergeek.com/posters.php?id=10512 (Accessed on: 23.02.11)
Figure 2. Cloverfield (2008) The group of friends with one hidden behind the camera. At: http://calgaryfilmfestival.blogspot.com/2010_09_01_archive.html (Accessed on: 23.02.11)
Figure 3. Cloverfield (2008) Mirroring 9/11. At: http://www.shockya.com/news/tag/paramount/page/2/ (Accessed on: 23.02.11)
Figure 4. Cloverfield (2008) Rob's social networking page. At: http://www.myspace.com/robbyhawkins (Accessed on: 23.02.11)
A.V. Club, Klosterman, Chuck (2009) Inventory: 16 Films Featuring Manic Pixie Dream Girls...New York: Simon & Schuster
Berra, John (2010) Directory of World Cinema: Japan. Bristol: Intellect Books.
Cettl, Robert (2009) Terrorism in American cinema: an analytical filmography, 1960-2008. North Carolina: MacFarland & Company, Inc.
Finney, Angus (2010) The International Film Business: A Market Guide Beyond Hollywood. Oxon: Taylor & Francis
Geraghty, Lincoln (2009) American science fiction film and television. Oxford: Berg