, the
accelerated cycle of Web buzz. For J.J. Abrams’ Cloverfield/1-18-08, we’ve
gone from excitement at the initial trailer to intrigue regarding the follow-up
viral marketing to frustration backlash at the apparent aimlessness of said
viral marketing to backlash against that backlash as people write off the
frustration as geek loathing since we’re supposedly now as in the dark as the
rest of the public for once. All this before the film’s even finished or even

‘Tis the way
of the future. The way of the future. The way of the future. The….What I mean
to say is that Abrams’ Bad Robot production banner has apparently adopted “veil
of secrecy” as a company MO. According to Variety, they’ve set up yet another
film – said to be a supernatural thriller – at Paramount to be produced by Abrams. And much
like Cloverfield/Colossus/Overnight/1-18-08/Revenge
of the Purple People-Eater
, that’s all you get. They’re keeping the
title and plot details close to vest, and intend to continue doing so for as
long as is humanly possible. In fact, they’re enjoying this so much that they’ve
set up at least seven projects at Paramount across a
variety of genres, including romantic comedies and straight-up comedy. And as I
said, they’re revealing no details on any of them. Yay.

I guess
this is Abrams’ signature much as the Shocking! Final! Twist! was M. Night
Shyamalan’s for a time. And I think it’ll get old just as fast. I understand
that with a hungry internet media presence out there, it’s very difficult to
preserve the mystery around any given film. And who can blame J.J. for wanting
to generate some buzz with a low-budget monster flick with no stars? I don’t
begrudge him that at all. But it just seems silly to ascribe that sort of intrigue
to everything you’re involved with, regardless of genre. What once seemed
unique and thrilling can become an annoying gimmick in the click of a mouse,
and the question of whether this will hurt or help these lower-scale films has
yet to be answered. We’ll see in January. Until then, I look at the extensive
(and overt) marketing efforts for films like Superbad and Hot
, and I don’t see nothing wrong with a little bump n’ grind giving
the people a little sumthin’, sumthin’, sir.