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January 22, 2008



Equally Stupid: Getting from Spring Street Station to 59th Street Station on foot, underground, in the dark, in about 10 minutes flat.
Also, walking out of the Time Warner Center and somehow finding yourself at the Grand Central Underpass.
I'll suspend disbelief for a 25-story high monster, but this little stuff hurts my brain.


Nice write up about the movie. I agree 100% with the dislike of the characters and their complete stupidity. The movie overall disappointed me...I prefer at least a few questions answered. :-)


I loved 75% of it, mostly because I couldn't stand the characters. I believed the condensed subway walk because Hud kept turning the camera off. In fact, that's the only way I believe the camera battery didn't run out at all. There's only about an hour of "footage" not including what was pre-existing on the tape. I just couldn't believe the girls spending 8+ hours running all over Manhattan in strappy heels.


The thing that sucks is that the camera work got me nauseous, so i had to leave after 30 minutes. Yeah, the characters where mighty weak, so leaving because of the nausea was a okay for me. It's strange because i was fine watching Blaire Witch. Your description of the movie i missed seems good. But again, mighty weak characters.

Just started reading your blog. It's great and I like Winston. I just found out my friend got her cat because she wanted one that looked like Winston.


Great, concise review of the film, Rich. I loved this movie--not only because it's perversely fascinating to see big cities smashed up by monsters--but because it resonated unexpectedly with me on an emotional level. I can't stop thinking about it.

No, I have never been in the same place as a terrorist attack or natural disaster, and overall I agree that most of the characters came directly from the disposable "Felicity" casting headshot reject pile. However, I was breathless the entire time I watched those kids crawl through New York City, because I truly got a sense of how fucking scary it is to be in the midst of chaos, not knowing what's going on or how to stop it. For this I especially applaud J.J. Abrams and what's-his-name-the-director for answering as few questions about the monster as possible, and tapping into our collective national angst about being affected by violence at random, all while putting together some really exciting action set pieces.


i still don't know if it's worth all the hype, but i pretty much agree with your review. and i really did hate the characters; the actors weren't helping either. i would have been okay if they all got crushed by the big monster. ah well. oh and the little stuff, like how fast the got from place to place and how fast the military mobilized (and set up virtual hospitals), irked me while i was watching the film - not enough to turn me off completely, but enough to irk me :)

p.s. i know some of the viral marketing stuff tried to imply the government was somewhat prepared for the 'attack', but come on.


So my main driving factor to see this was the fact that I actually know Michael (Rob), because I'm not a terribly large fan of horror/terror movies. After seeing it, aside from being nauseated (just like Blair Witch - I didn't even have a platter of gooey nachos this time), I was just kind of annoyed with how the last third of the movie plays out. From the girl exploding (did she do that on her own out of nowhere or did they kill her?) to traversing a 59-story, cross-building, not horizontal or vertical trek to rescue your impaled ex (in HEELS for that chick), to then remove impaled ex and her NOT BE DEAD and able to run 20-something odd blocks to safety and still NOT BE DEAD, to conveniently being knocked out of the sky in your helicopter and NOT DIE WHEN IT CRASHES, to then escape but be in the throes of this vaguely defined monster and get the cameraman killed but leave the two most irritating characters left to "die" in each others arms (because they probably didn't, seeing as how they're bionic)...it was enough to make me slightly more than irked. I paid for two of my friends to see it with me, so I guess I got around 22 of my 33 dollars worth, but still...bah.


And seriously, as much as I love Roma Torre, there's no way she was hanging out at the NY1 studios on a Friday or Saturday night, ready for an sudden emergency broadcast.

I totally agree about the movie in general, though I forgave the crappiness of the characters, mostly because poor judgment (running toward the monster, into a falling building) was required for good video footage. If Rob and Hud and co. had tossed the camera immediately and/or looked for a logical escape route, we'd have been left with either no movie or a really boring movie.


Hey, great review!
I thought the characters were annoying as well!

BTW, is that Brittany from ANTM cycle 4 on the Cerebral Itch ad on your page? It looks just like her!


who cares? stick to the script rich.


Agreed. I think this movie succeeds in that it kept me enthralled despite holes in logic and the douchebagginess of the characters. But are the problems really so problematic? It's a monster movie, after all, and humans characters in this genre have behaved more illogically before. I feel like people complaining of head-hurting should ask if they were expecting too much from a trifle of a movie whose plot can be basically summed up with "Big thing stomps city. Screaming."


I agree with some of your points, Rich--the characters were pointless--but I'm not ready to call this a classic, nor will I ever be. The Blair-Witch-with-a-horrible-seizure-disorder camera work almost made me boot, and I wasn't the only one.

But here's my bigger complaint: As someone who was working and living in the city during 9/11, I found a few of the scenes to be extraordinary uncomfortable. Watching NY1 with a group of panicky people to find out what's happenning? Been there. Hiding out in a convenience store while a cloud of smoke/soot washes through the streets? Yeah, been there, too. I almost had to walk out at that point because I started to freak out a little. And it wasn't because it was such an effective horror movie--I think it was more because I was being manipulated.

Now, I'm not going to be one of those people who says that the movie should be pulled/banned because it offended my sensibilities. I don't really care. I should have known better not to see it, as a movie about the destruction of NY might push my buttons, much in the same way I suspect Vietnam vets probably wouldn't be into "Full Metal Jacket" or "Platoon." And maybe the filmmakers "borrowing" ideas from 9/11 isn't really that bad or evil--there are certainly more than a few horror movies that feature people burning alive, and I'm not aware of any major opposition based on the grounds that this happend in the Holocaust. But as I said, I personally felt manipulated, and not in a good way, and I think co-opting scenes from 9/11 was a bit tasteless


Heath Ledger was just found dead of a drug overdose in Manhattan. Holy shit!!!


See I didn't think 9/11 at all until the very end of the movie. The whole scene with them in the convenience store was as the monster was walking by them, not just debris from a building falling.
I can forgive the camera effect and the one sided characters. I can not forgive the impailed girl walking halfway across the city totally fine with just a rag wrapped around her gushing wound. I can not forgive the one girl exploding and no answers given to why she exploded. Fine, the monster is there and we can chose where it came from but why the head exploding? She was the only one out of the bunch that was a semi-decent character in the movie(she would have been the best if she said "f*** you" and left them all behind on the streets).
The last thing I can not forgive is the monster hitting the helicopter just after it was fire bombed THEN getting to central park right where the main characters were. Then the only char interested in filming the whole thing dies but no, can't leave it there, the last two characters have to grab the camera to say their goodbyes. Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame!


I completely agree. The parts I enjoyed about the movie were amazing, but the parts I didn't like, I really hated. It's good to see a review that's something other than "amazing!" and "worthless!" because I definitely didn't think of it either way.


Did you hear the backwards whispering at the very end? They played it in reverse (so, frontwards!) on the radio this a.m.; definitely going to be a sequel.
House of Jules


totally agree with kyle-steven. the creature(s) design was interesting, and some of the action pieces were entertaining. but overall i thought the movie was disappointing, laughably so in some places. rent "the host" instead. better on all fronts.


See, I had trouble with the fact that the girl Lily left her heels on for that entire subway tunnel walk, but I didn't have a problem with how short it seemed in the film because it's entirely possible that Hud had the camera off for some of that time. There were moments where time skipped forward a bit through the whole film like that. They could've been walking for a much longer time than we saw. But Lily should've ripped some fucking Keds off a corpse or something.


Uh, the girl who exploded was bitten/stung by the one of the lice-looking things in the subway, who clearly injected her with some kind of poison (if it was a lice-like parasite, it would have to have a mighty powerful anticoagulant to feed off the monster). Therefore, she went splat. How did people miss that? It seemed pretty obvious to me.


Rich you are so on point although you loved the movie more than I did. I just couldn't get past the poor plot point of going INTO the city to rescue one person (thus, putting three other people's lives in danger just to rescue someone who may or may not be dead). My friends and I laughed throughout the movie because of this. In fact, I told my best friend that I loved her, but if monsters were terroizing Miami, even if she was on the phone with me at that moment, I would not go into downtown to get her. I'd already be mourning her loss.

If only they had tweaked the story a little bit. How about following the army out of the city, getting separated from the army, and struggling on their own to reach the evac point? That would have been 100 times better then, "We have to save Beth."

Bleh. For all the good that the movie had, that stupid plot point ruined it for the realist in me. For that reason, I could only give the movie a C (and I'm usually pretty generous with rating movies). Sad.


I totally loved this movie. I agree that the characters were hellava stupid, but well.. there wouldn't have been a movie otherwise if they had done the smart thing :P heh I loved Hud though!
There were some parts that I felt were just too cheesy and made me want to throw something through the screen.
When they finally find the girl in the building, and the oh so fucking cheesy ass "You came back for me..." UUUUUUUUUGH. It totally took me out of the movie when she said that absolutely horrible cheesy crap line.
And also when walking through the clothing store... I was waiting for Lily to grab a pair of non-heeled shoes.. but nope!
I guess those heels were really comfy o_O

Anyways.. blahblahblah.. bad acting, bad scenes aside... the absolute best scene I think was when the 4some was walking down the street. All of a sudden there's the monster in front of them, and then WHOOSH, there goes a missle right over their heads from the military behind them. And then all hell breaks loose as the military is attacking the monster. That part... w/ the sound it totally made me feel like I was right there with them. So intense!


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After reading your review I decided to watch a 'magic' copy of it..willing to go to the theater the next day to see it for real effect. Won't be doing that. I can't sit through the first 20 mins again. There is way too much emphasis on the part of the movie that really sucks. These characters are not just flaws in the movie..they make it a fuckin disaster.

I can take action movie hyperbole (he keeps the camera going despite how vulnerable filming makes him, woman smart enough to take off heels but dumb enough to still carry them, the unconscious spike-thru-chest woman who can suddenly cuddle and run and yell) but I cannot accept that the unfunny funnyman continues to make jokes after tragedy after tragedy ("what's oh-600?-6 o'clock.-Oh yeah I knew that") Fuck. You. Script writer.

Is this a means to an end thing? Critics accept this because it's a YouTube post-modern version of Godzilla? Eh eh. Also, how in the world did this cost 25 million dollars to make? Perspective: Blair Witch cost $22,000. Special effects don't explain it.


You said exactly what I was thinking. The movie got to me in the last 10 minutes, in regards to motion sickness, the rest of the time I was fine.

The only character I cared for was exploding girl, she kinda reminded me of all those 80's Winona Ryder odd-girl characters. I thought the exploding part was because she had been implanted with a spider baby, which somehow grow really fast (she was already about to pass out when they caught her, to me that meant the alien "baby" was about to come out, hence the explosion), but that was my interpretation of it, of course.

And she had to die, of course, for being an asshole. She wasn't even that close to those people, but she decided to stick with them while they crawled closer and closer to ground zero.

All in all, an ok movie, not worth the $10 I would've paid to see it. Fortunately I caught a free pre-screening of it, so I only spent $4 on raisinets.


I thought it sucked but mainly becuase of the characters and their stupid ways. I wanted to see more monster less dumb people but I guess with such a budget it wasn't possible. Still, the movie did a good job in leaving enough things unanswered so that despite my best intentions, I know I'll be seeing the sequel.

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