NITEHAWK MIDNITE SCREENINGS: CLOVERFIELD (Matt Reeves, 2008)
136 Metropolitan Ave. between Berry St. & Wythe Ave.
Friday, March 17, and Saturday, March 18, 12:20 am
A surprise going-away party turns into a nightmare in Matt Reeves’s highly anticipated Cloverfield. Michael Stahl-David stars as Rob, a young man who has accepted a promotion that will send him to Japan. Although he is in love with his best friend, Beth (Odette Yustman), he is unable to tell her. But everything changes when the ground starts to shake, buildings begin to collapse, and people are on the run, attempting to escape from an enormous monster on the loose in post-9/11 Manhattan. And when Rob discovers that Beth, who had left the party early, might still be alive, he decides to risk his life and head uptown to save her. He is joined on the dangerous journey by his brother, Jason (Mike Vogel); Jason’s girlfriend, Lily (Jessica Lucas); Lily’s friend Marlena (Lizzy Caplan); and Hud (T. J. Miller), who serves as the comic relief. The entire film is seen through the lens of a video camera that Hud was entrusted with at the party, giving the film the feel of The Blair Witch Project, mixed with such Gotham horror stories as King Kong, The Day After Tomorrow, and the ridiculous 1998 Godzilla remake. Cloverfield, which has an ever-widening back story growing online (similar to that of Lost, which is also the creation of J. J. Abrams), doesn’t try to be anything more than it is — a monster movie set in New York City. The creature is kept hidden for most of the film, which doesn’t make any grand statements about science, humanity, or, really, anything except true love — and brutal death. And yes, there is a secret message hidden in the brief sound clip at the end of the credits. Cloverfield, which was followed by the conceptual sequel 10 Cloverfield Lane, is screening on March 17 and 18 in the Nitehawk Cinema “Midnite Screenings” and “Large and in Charge” series; the latter continues weekends in March with Pacific Rim and the 1958 and 1988 versions of The Blob.