Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A look to the future...Cloverfield

If you were lucky enough to see the new Transformers movie at the cinema, by my mind the best action blockbuster in recent memory, then you may have been treated to a glimpse of the forthcoming J.J. Abrams movie. This, incidentally, is all you find out from the trailer as they elusively withhold the name. However, a quick search for the Mission Impossible 3 helmer on IMDB reveals the working title "Cloverfield", a name that is less than inspiring in itself.

So what's to be excited about? Well for a start, the trailer itself was more atmospheric in two minutes than most films manage to generate across their entire run time. A feel of the atmosphere is all you really get from the trailer, but it's enough to sell it. The sense of impending doom is so tangible it almost warrants a rendition of Invader Zim's "Doom Song".

In addition to this the trailer only suggests at what the film could be about, rather joining in with the exciting phenomena of the Spoiler Fest™ telling the audience everything they need to know before they see the film. "Notes on a Scandal” and "300" were recent examples of this, leaving only exposition to link the plot points you already knew, then adding an epilogue.

As the city lights up, people begin to scream "It's alive!" and such like, which one would hope dispels the real horror show of a natural disaster movie. There hasn't been a big one for a while, so it would be disappointing if this is a comeback for a hopefully dead genre.

Still, the team behind Lost should be given the benefit of the doubt. As part of a new wave of dark, intelligent US Dramas (see the Battlestar Gallactica remake, Dead Wood and Heroes for more examples), Lost managed to be abstract and layered, whilst being accessible to main stream audiences. In an age where programmes analysing toilets are becoming worryingly popular, it was a refreshing change. Even though the series was overly stretched out, it constantly shifted viewer expectations, answering each question that it raised with three more, like some kind of interrogatory hydra.

Check out the trailer below and I'm sure you'll agree it's one to watch for 2008. Especially if they make the name sound a little less like a butter brand in the meantime...