Review Date: April 15, 2008
Director: Matt Reeves
Writer: Drew Goddard
Producers: JJ Abrams, Bryan Burk
Michael Stahl-David as Rob
Jessica Lucas as Lily
Lizzy Caplan as Marlena
Granted, the film’s “first person” point-of-view was made just about as famous in 1999 when a couple of friends with cameras and $22,000 burning a hole in their pockets decided to make a “real horror movie” called THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, but unlike that film (which I thought pretty much sucked), this one actually managed to make me care about its subjects, appreciate its story and predicaments, and totally sell me on everything, including its many crazy-ass STARSHIP TROOPERS-esque creatures trying to chomp into our veritable heroes. Also, for a film that only runs 75 minutes, kudos to the screenwriter for managing to pace all three acts very nicely, especially after the film’s first 20 minutes, which seemed like any other film’s first 20 minutes featuring a party full of kids drinking and going through some personal shit until…well, until their world literally begins to shake and the rest, as they say…is a pretty darn cool flick! I was actually just starting to recognize how irrelevant their squabbles were during the party, when all hell broke loose, and all of a sudden…these people were my life!! I also thought that the story was gonna go downhill once the monster hit the big screen, but wrong was I, with scenes featuring gunplay, giant spiders attacking kids in tunnels, a suspenseful cross-over two buildings and plenty of frenetic style, all doing their part to keep my eyes glued to that very screen and my ass, bolted to the chair. The flashbacks also helped ground the story a little, while at the same time, giving us a few seconds to breathe and catch up.
Props also go out to all of the lead actors, who offered convincing performances and had a big part to do with me staying “into” the movie. I would also like to request that actress Jessica Lucas drop me an email, as I find her to be quite attractive and would like to “gett wit dat”, if you know what I mean. But I digress. All compliments aside, I’m not sure if this film is for everyone, since it does feature a ton of shaky-cam action which may cause motion sickness in some viewers (my “lady friend” thought it was the worst film she’s ever seen, in fact), but for me, it all worked great and even though some sequences may require that you unroll your eyes in order to better enjoy yourself, I did so and had myself a blast! So if you’re looking for a quick, clever, scary little thrill-ride set in New York City, check into this film and see what it’s like to go into a movie without knowing much about it. Let me tell you, it can be a fun, fun time. PS: Needless to say, some of the mayhem-filled shots of folks scattering through the smoke-filled streets of NY will remind some of the tragic day that was September 11, 2001. I must’ve sat in front of my TV set for about four days straight after that happened, and even though it happened almost 7 years ago, some sequences in this film reminded me of that day. Had to be mentioned.