Cloverfield is my first found footage movie in 4K. Of course, 2008 camcorders weren’t in 4K but movies already were. The color bars at the top of the film give you the primaries in pure 4K.
The opening scenes are degraded like video but it clears up by the party. You see those cut off, diagonal frames clearly, with autofocus coming in and out.
When they go outside onto the ledge is when Cloverfield really starts to look like a 4K blockbuster. The night is deep and when the city black out, it is truly a pure blackout.
The chaos on the street has a sepia tone, so explosions and fire stand out burning orange. Characters move through shadow, sometimes stopping for dialogue in silhouette.
The convenience store has a moment of blackout too with only the windows a lighter gray from the light outside. The flourescents quickly come back on.
The subway tunnel sequence is extraordinary. With only the camera light presumably guiding them, they’re walking toward a black hole.
The video degradation returns sporadically in especially frenetic moments. That’s part of the fun.
Sound-wise, the monster’s footsteps rumble in your subwoofer. The party music fills the background speakers. Once the action starts, helicopters circle the room, bridge cables snap behind you and military firepower surrounds everything.