It was great. I enjoyed every bit of it. My friends, however, could have used a barfbag.
I'll tread carefully around the topic of Cloverfield as my intentions are not to leak any surprises.
The film's effectiveness and success is a much more interesting discussion and is ultimately in my opinion what separates the making of Cloverfield from the last big box office hit. First of all, it is a production of JJ Abrams the mastermind behind hit TV series Lost and Alias. Think about it, this guy's got awards and trophies spilling out of his pants. Apart from being spearheaded by its creatively famous director, Cloverfield has also been GREATLY exposed through viral marketing. And it's through this method that molded the film to soar as opposed to a regularly advertised film.
"Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message's exposure and influence."
Taking on it's name, these type of marketing techniques spread like a virus, taking advantage of our vast and diverse online network to rapidly multiply and explode the message to millions across the globe. The origins are simple. It is a modern day word-of-mouth method delivered and enhanced by the speedy network effects of the internet. The most distinguishable aspect of this strategy and one I find most fascinating is the fact that it encourages and facilitates people who receive the message to pass it on voluntarily. This may take a variety of forms such as text messaging, video clips, images, and interactive games... making it very, very evil.
As for Cloverfield its marketing campaign was focused all around mystery, suspense and curiosity, creating the perfect environment for a viral message to grow. As far as I know, its original pre-production website (1-18-08.com) was a hair-pulling teaser. The site contains no text, only interactive photos related to the film that you can pull around and flip over. For months, anxious fans across the world were trying to deduce these photographic clues to assemble together a broken story. Many had come down to different theories and creature lore, initiating further discussion from a larger following. And there's more! Fake company websites, interactive games, film teasers, and a fake newscast video all to further back up the developing plot line and provide extra explanation. As for the film itself, it was well done to satisfy what the viewer should be prepared for, assuming they had seen the trailer that was discreet in every manner but suspense and curiosity. However it was clever enough to leave room for more questions to be raised after the film. Myself and many others definitely had questions and we were starving to get answers. I had spent a fair hour or so right after watching the film, only to rewatch it carefully and do our own research to fill in the missing links of the story.
This is one movie that no doubt earned my praise. It created a huge buzz among online social groups prior to the flick. During the film, it gave hungry viewers a satisfying bite yet still dangled some loose ends in our faces and managed to maintain a flow of discussion long after the details have been spilled. The creepiest part is that we all have done this voluntarily.
Reviews of Movies We Haven't Seen: Cloverfield. 16 January 2008. Explosm!. 25 January 2008.
Viral Marketing. 24 January 2008. Wikipedia, The free Encyclopedia. 25 January 2008