Godzilla Thrills on a Bambi Budget

Cloverfield's cost-conscious formula proves that by dispensing with overpriced stars, Hollywood can make a popular thriller that doesn't break the bank

It sure looked like one of Hollywood's big-budget, blockbuster send-offs. Inside the gates of Paramount, a 12-foot tall faux Statue of Liberty loomed—its head lopped off much as it is in the studio's latest horror movie, Cloverfield. A commercial for the movie, due in theaters Jan. 18, aired on the top-rated American Idol season premiere.

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