Cloverfield (dir. Matt Reeves, 2008), a Hollywood movie about a giant, reptilian monster attacking New York City, includes many moments reminiscent of the iconic video footage captured on 9/11. The film presents these scenes of destruction as thrilling spectacle and, in so doing, reveals the idea that the terrorist attacks of 2001 always made for, on some level, an exciting event. This essay ponders our attraction to the aesthetics of violence. It details the ways that Cloverfield drains 9/11 of any significance other than its potential to yield pleasurable images of carnage.

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