Why do people either hate or love those shakey first-person perspective horror movies?

Why do people either hate or love those shakey first-person perspective horror movies?

ProfessorSimon's picture

This the low to no budget forum and Cloverfield and Quarantine don't count I guess, but they are still examples of the type of movie that for some reason put people on the defensive. What is it about these movies or about those people that results in their being insulted by the film?

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metalgurahl's picture

I don't like defending Cloverfield, but you are forcing my hand.

Cloverfield is a movie about Godzilla strictly through the perspective of one of the fleeing masses. 

Did everyone in Godzilla know why he rose out of the sea?  No!  We did, the audience, but if you think about it, hardly anyone in the film except the people way up top had any clue.  And Godzilla was meant to have a message warning folks against the danger of nuclear energy.

But in Cloverfield, we didn't spend time with any scientists or generals or the president or anyone in charge who might have access to information, just a few ordinary citizens trying to escape, that's the perspective we were given, so its understandable why we didn't get any answers. 

And to hell with the notion that all the information needs to be handed to you, figure some stuff out, or just let it be, or live with the fact that based on the perspective given to you, you may not get everything.  Aye yi yi, are we seriously bitching about Cloverfield simply because we didn't find out about the monster?  WE'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE FUCKING MONSTER!  That's not what the movie is about!  Its a singular perspective on an untimely disaster, period, end of story, live with it.

Now, with that being said, I didn't care for Cloverfield either, mostly because I had to spend an hour and a half with the moronic goober holding the camera, I thought the PG-13 rating made for some unrealistic dialogue, and I think it was a movie that tried to marry two vastly different genres, the monster movie and the first-person perspective and didn't succeed.

Quarentine was bad ass.  Paranormal Activity was pretty decent.

Anywayz, first person is supposed to give the audience that "this is really happening" feeling, and I guess some people don't like that. 

But I agree with zigzag, if its a good movie then its a good movie.  If it sucks, it sucks.

MrBradshaw's picture

I like the 1st person perspective.....It was an original idea in a sea of CG crap.  The #1 complaint that my friends and family have about first person is the seasickness comment from earlier.  Most of the younger generation has grown up with this CG stuff hell I am wowed by it.  You can have 300 million in CG effects and a 300 dollar script and people go WOW that was cool.  Give me the old school shit anyday.  The anticipation of the horror or scare, if you will any day.

kaveman1969's picture

I don't necessarily hate a hand held filmed type movie. As stated earlier, if the movie is good it's good regardless of how it's shot.

I just think a lot of people associate handheld filmed type films with The Blair Witch Project, Cloverdale, PA etc.

Blair Witch is good now to me, but I have to admit, when I saw it in the theater when it came out I felt really ripped off. Cloverdale left too many unanswered questions, and PA sucked IMO.

So, you get people thinking that any film made this way probably sucks, but I thought Quarantine was actually really good. I think it's a stigma. I'll give any film a chance. But again, if it stinks, it won't really matter how it's shot. My opinion.

fire64's picture

I respect the aspect of filming if its correctly done and not just a budget cut on the making of a movie. Quarantine was good cloverfield was pretty good but blairwitch? come on anyone can make up a story in a documentary go in the woods shake some sticks scream and act scared it was a disgrace to the genre!

rainbowesque's picture

Because they're used to the stability of cameras on tripods and such. It's kind of an 'out of the box' type thing. There aren't many films that have the first person view and the shaking, and trembling of it definitely doesn't help the eyes. 


Also, the best film for this type of view, though it may not be first person... The Night Stalker. Hands the f*ck down. Amen. 

LaRae's picture

I LOVE those movies!!  i'm craving less explanation and more left to the imagination.  sometimes our minds can imagine things way worse than what we see through the handheld camera in the movie.  if you wanna see a first person narrative...watch HOME MOVIE....talk about one that can stun the heart!

grindhouse_guru's picture

I like them to.  The monster will be explained in Cloverfield 2.  JJ Abhrams annouced the sequel go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeiUviJ3S7A&feature=player_embedded for more details.


I liked CLOVERFIELD and QUARANTINE fine. While shakey camera stuff, it didnt overdo it although at times CLOVERFIELD did. The quality of footage was good. Paranormal while being crappy cell phone video quality also mixed the genres of possession and poltergeist which doesnt make sense, the acting was nothing, the film quality terrible as well as production standards and the plot silly. This is all my opinion and not a putdown to anyone else. I get indignant cause for me I REALLY felt ripped off by this movie and REALLY felt it was a waste of my time but I respect the opinions of anyone who liked it, it simply did not even come close to being acceptable to me. I think it was a success because of the power of the hype. I do agree with Metal that people shouldnt dislike a movie just because everything isnt explained. Thats the way life is. Sometimes you just dont know why someone disappeared or got killed or why the twister took one house and not the one next to it. Sometimes a movie is a "slice of life" a story telling of a brief point in time.

Kaboom's picture

Hey, Horror Fans! Personally, I like the hand-held movies! Cloverfield, [REC], (can't wait to see [REC 2]), The Zombie Diaries, Quarantine, aren't bad movies. I believe that the right script, and the right director, hand-held would be awesome! I watch a lot of Horror movies, with a lot of different people, and most of them that don't like hand-held, can't ride roller-coasters, or rides that spin, can't ride in the back seats of cars, motion sickness. To me hand-held gives a bit more, news-cast, real time, in todays society, caught with a cell phone look to it. A little more reality, to a genre that desperatley needs it! Todays society is so jaded towards blood, and violence, it takes a lot more to make Horror, Horror! I believe hand-held could do that!        Later, Horror Fans!           Kaboom

undead_MissAmerica's picture

Personally, I don't prefer first person perspective filming.  Especially if it's a fairly long movie because it gives me a headache.  I won't cease to watch a movie due to the perspective, the only film I really had a problem to the point I had to shut it off for 15 minutes, go outside and smoke was Diary of the Dead.  The volitile camera motion and lighting made me strain to follow.  It was a good movie, I just had a migraine at the end of it. :)


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