Tuesday, September 6, 2011

40 Days of Night(mares) Day 15: Favorite Monster Movie

I was tempted to go with my first love here. After all, you never forget your first, right? So yeah, I came really close to picking Godzilla, but then, how do you cull the impressive list of badly good Gojira (his real name) movies? Can you really rank Mechagodzilla against King Ghidora? I grew up with many a Saturday spent watching the green goliath lay waste to downtown Tokyo (seriously though, after the third or fourth time, wouldn't you jet the hell out of there?). My love for Godzilla is now firmly implanted onto my children, and as cheesy as they are, I can still find myself raptly watching men in rubber suits fighting amidst the rubble of cardboard buildings.
Really tall man in sunglasses
But, as much as I love him, the big guy just isn't serious enough for this post. So, I went with the best example of recent monster movie making, Cloverfield. From the second I saw the awesome teaser trailer, I was hooked. And it didn't let me down one bit. Not only do I not mind the shaky cam videography style, I think it really adds to the inherent drama. The story is also very human, and the people we follow through the attack are compelling and very easy to sympathize with.
Coming after the attacks of September 11th, it's given even more import and is even easier to get drawn into by the events that unfolded on television that day, and the erie realism Matt Reeves is able to capture in the way humans would react in such an instance. Obviously, given that it is a monster movie, you also have to throw in a heavy dose of suspension of disbelief, but it rings true at the same time. I absolutely love this movie and watch it quite regularly. To me, it's the perfect mix of my childhood love and my adult movie sensibilities. And, more importantly, it is inspiring a new generation, most notably Gareth Edwards, whose movie Monsters is a gripping, if low budget, example of the genre. It's so impressive, that Toho Pictures is counting on him for the very necessary Godzilla reboot that will hopefully take away the bad memories of the other American adaptation.

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