The movie’s release date is one of the few that I have committed to memory and try to watch on the day of to celebrate the anniversary. I have an interesting history with this film but more on that later.
A monster attacks New York as told through found footage.
When the trailer was first released, I never saw it but read about it in the USA Today. It was on some kind of family trip but I remember reading it, discussing how the trailer was released with no title but rather a date and how it was the latest thing to be talking about. I still have that article tacked to the wall by my desk at home.
I didn’t get into the viral marketing, one of the film’s notable parts, until way after it was released on DVD. To my knowledge, the sites are still active like SLUSHO! (for those who hate Comic Sans, it’s there). The SLUSHO! brand is referenced in other Abrams productions, like in Super 8 where a vintage ad is displayed in the gas station.
I got the DVD a few years ago and watched it for the first time to see what exactly I missed the first go around. It’s a variation of the “real time” film like Rope. For only 84 minutes it does go by quickly, especially since it covers many hours with the editing traditionally found on home videos.
The characters are not real memorable as they get picked off one by one. You know most of them won’t survive since the information at the beginning of the film explains that Central Park is destroyed (though not that explicit in description). Even then, it is a glimpse of their lives as we see snippets of a morning after, the party and destruction of the city, and some parts of Coney Island. The home video touch makes you wonder what more happened off-camera.
Like The Blair Witch Project, there is no score in the film until the end of the film and even a little bit in the beginning when the logos are shown if you turn the volume up. This enhances the realism of the situation.
For what it’s worth, it’s worth a viewing once in a while. I keep hearing about a sequel but I think this should remain a single installment.