Is 'Cloverfield' On Netflix? The Found Footage Movie Is As Elusive As Its Monster
Since the release of The Blair Witch Project 16 years ago, found footage has grown into a genre standard, a reliable way of spicing up a movie's bland and formulaic plot — or, in some cases, make an exceptional film absolutely blood-curdling. That was the case with 2008's Cloverfield, and while the upcoming sequel, 10 Cloverfield Lane, doesn't go that route — there are no shaky camera techniques or jumbled angles meant to create a documentary-style feel in this one — it'll make you want to revisit the technique all the same. And while Cloverfield isn't on Netflix, there are plenty of found footage films available on the streaming site, listed below, that'll do the trick.
So before you head to theaters to see Cloverfield Lane, curl up with a bowl of popcorn and a few friends and watch some of these found footage movies. After, you might be ready to handle J.J. Abrams' surprise film, although you won't know much going in. While the companion piece to Cloverfield exists in the same universe as its predecessor, the producer has made it clear that 10 Cloverfield Lane is not a sequel. From the little information fans can glean from the trailers, there is a monster and there is at least a hint of scientific mayhem, but the film seems to be lacking a Godzilla-esque city-stomper like the first movie. So prepare for plenty of surprises — but watch these other terrifying movies first.
1. Troll Hunter
This 2010 gem chronicles a team of Norwegian troll hunters as they do their thing across the countryside. Complete with Jeep chases and moments of absurd troll-trapping — there's gospel music involved at one point — Troll Hunter transcends the parameters typical of the found footage genre — it has its moments of terror, but the film is ultimately a hilarious spin on found footage horror.
This critically-acclaimed picture warrants plenty of discussion. Upon its debut at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, V/H/S made some audience members quake in their boots, as it goes after a group of rapists when they videotape their acts of violence. Horror being inflicted upon perpetrators of sexual assault? That might not be how justice plays out in actual courtrooms, but as far as scary movies go, it sounds like this one might have some feminist potential.
3. Frankenstein's Army
Leave it up to the Nazis to try to bring dead soldiers back to life. Because the film focuses so much on grotesque scientific experiments, it's an eerie piece of revisionist history, a la Inglorious Basterds.
4. The Mirror
Brace yourselves — this one is based on a true story. As the Evening Standard reports, The Mirror comes from a real internet classified ad. Explains the paper,
After numerous “unusual occurrences” — including a suitcase flying off a wardrobe, a chair “moving”, the appearance of smoky mist in the night and waking up with scratches — Mr Birch, 21, and Mr Charalambous, 34, got so spooked that they decided to get rid of the mirror on eBay.
In the past decade, websites have become fruitful sources of inspiration for horror filmmakers. Found footage plays into this sense of heightened reality and brings the terror closer to home.
Here's hoping that audiences find 10 Cloverfield Lane's traditional cinematography creepy enough to join this group of films.