SPOILER ALERT: there are some small spoilers in this post about the movies “Cloverfield”, “Aliens”, or “Jaws 3”.
There’s a movie called “Cloverfield” that I really enjoyed when I first saw it. It is about a group of young adults who are having a farewell party for one of their friends in New York when a huge monster starts attacking the city. The movie is filmed through a home movie camera which is held by the boyfriend, the guy who’s a little be annoying but everybody kind of likes, and the guy who turns into a bit of a hero in turn.
I’ve watched the movie a few times and with each viewing I became more uncomfortable and realised I was feeling sad for the monster. This was despite all the death and destruction it was causing in Manhattan.
It seemed to me that the monster was really frightened. It wasn’t meaning to hurt people – it was just hungry and curious about these things were that were running all over the place. I realised that I didn’t want the monster to be harmed and wanted people to understand it rather than to just try and kill it. My maternal instinct was kicking in and I started to think, by what the monster was doing, that it was actually an infant of its species. It was scared, alone, hungry, and wanted its mother and/or father. When I told Kirby about my thoughts he looked at me like I was crazy.
Well, it turns out I was right. While some viewers of the movie do not believe the monster was meant to be a baby, the producer, J J Abrams, indicated that the monster was an infant, and the director, Matt Reeves, has stated that the monster is, indeed, a baby. It does what infants do – they have separation anxiety and cry for their parent/s, and they are curious about things and put what they find in their mouths to see if they can eat them (hence not leaving small things such as marbles and pieces of Lego within reach of human babies and toddlers).
So it seems I have a great maternal instinct. I can recognise an infant in another species – even if the infant is 20 stories tall (there’s some dispute on this, but basically it is huge!)
Perhaps my maternal instinct is going a little bit overboard, but I wish the monster baby could be reunited with its mother and that they could go back to wherever it is that they came from, whether that is the depths of the ocean or another planet. Though I guess that probably wouldn’t make for a very attractive movie to those who like a good monster flick.
There are two other movies that bring out the maternal instinct in me in a way that they probably wouldn’t for most other viewers.
One is Aliens which stars Sigourney Weaver. Humans go to a planet and start killing baby aliens – what did they expect the adult aliens would do? Go the aliens I say!
The other is Jaws 3. When you accidently trap a baby shark and don’t release it – the mother is going to come looking for it and is going to be pretty mad. At least in the movies but not in real life as Great White Sharks don’t actually care for their young at all once they are born.
Well, now you know I have a ramped up maternal instinct. I wonder how protective of my own babies I would have been if I lean towards protecting a massive infant monster, the young of a scary looking alien, and the ferocious baby of an even more ferocious White Pointer shark!