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The Sins of Cloverfield‘s Protagonists

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From a kaiju theorist’s point-of-view, the giant rubbery Toho monsters — the Godzillas and Gameras who fire-breath and belly-flop their way through downtown Tokyo — represent vengeful gods punishing humanity for their sins.

In kaiju movies, these sins are usually pollution and war. But what about Cloverfield? Does the same theory apply? What are the sins of the small human insects in the path of the tripodal Cloverfield monster?

A fascinating piece over at the Religion Dispatches website (of all places!) dissects the sins of the Cloverfield protagonists:

The focus of Gamera 3 is on the human impact of this sort of tragedy, and Cloverfield, shot in shaky, first-person video, is all about human impact. But what is the sin for which the monster is punishment? In a word, it’s self-absorption: the characters in this film search for cell phone chargers while the world falls down around them. In one key scene — which appears in the trailer — the monster hurls the head of the Statue of Liberty, which crashes down a few feet from the POV camera. Within seconds, people have lined up in front of it to take pictures with their cell phones. They’re distanced from what’s happening around them, oblivious to what it really means.

I’m really not sure that much thought went into Cloverfield, even subconsciously, but it’s a fascinating take on both kaiju movies and Cloverfield nonetheless. Read the whole thing.

Cloverfield: Sin & Redemption, With Monsters [Religion Dispatches]

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