Rating: 3 ½ / 5 stars
By Sally Burgess, Technical Manager
Director JJ Abrams (Cloverfield, Star Trek) gets in touch with his inner Spielberg for this movie, set in 1979.
Super 8 gives us a catastrophic train crash which only a small group of kids are witness to whilst they are filming their own horror movie on a Super 8mm camera. However, it soon becomes apparent that the train was holding a rather dangerous unknown entity on its way back from Area 51. Dogs disappear out of the state through pure fear, the town is soon overrun with military, and people start going missing…
Previously best known as the creator of hit TV show Lost, Abrams first showed us his directorial abilities with an impressive third instalment of the Mission Impossible franchise before going on with Cloverfield and the brilliant Star Trek reboot. There are a few nods to Spielberg films here, such as ET and Close Encounters, and Spielberg himself acted as producer on this movie. So you can expect a bit of schmaltz to go with the suspense.
The acting here is pretty solid, with Kyle Chandler (previously seen in King Kong) playing an increasingly irate sheriff who keeps hitting a wall of military disinformation. The real acting honours though belong to the kids who are the heart and soul of the movie, especially Joel Courtenay as Joe, one of the witnesses to the crash who just happens to be the sheriff’s son.
Both I and Henry-Stewart (our Front-of-House manager) enjoyed this one and we weren’t given anything different from what we were expecting from the trailers. The creature that escapes from the train is largely unseen until the frantic last 20 minutes, and the lack of a huge military/alien face off took nothing away from the movie.
This is a film that looks like it belongs to the era in which it was set, with live action and CGI sequences almost seamless.
For those of you wanting a solid two hours of entertainment, you should consider Super 8. If you want a film with more style than substance, maybe you should wait for Transformers 3!