I think it has everything to do with being a parent.
I’ve never been a fan of Godzilla movies but I do like action/horror/disaster movies as a whole. Cloverfield is excellently executed and it left my head filled with “what would I do” thoughts (which all good horror/disaster movies do). As a parent you worry about more than just yourself and that’s what M. Night Shyamalan touched on with Signs. When you’re a parent, it’s more than just you in the horror.
The presentation of camcorder footage worked for Blair Witch and, to be honest, works even better for Cloverfield though the cameraman obviously has some sort of disorder because most people would ditch the camera early on. Even if recording it from the point of view of seeing “how it all went down”.
I can’t tell you much about the content itself without introducing too many spoilers. The shaky handheld footage does get irritating at times when you just want to get a bloody good look at something.
To be honest, if you’re old enough, go and see this movie. I don’t know if it needs to be seen in a cinema at all – I’m pretty hacked off with the bullshit about the “cinema experience”. Watching cinema in Northern Ireland consists of listening to slightly muffled sound, watching a screen that proudly displays the human detritus of heavy petting sessions in the projection room and listening to the beeps of mobile phones, the rustling of packets, the slurping of smoothies, having to uproot yourself because some idiot can’t get to his seat “from the other side” and sitting in a seat that is solely designed to stop you falling asleep.
Despite all of that, Cloverfield is a great film. It makes me shiver in anticipation for J.J.Abrams version of Star Trek (now delayed for a Summer 2009 release) and look forward to a possible sequel to Cloverfield.
Interestingly, most people don’t stay to the end of the credits. They miss out.