Super 8 is a J.J. Abrams film made in 2011. The film takes place in the small town of Lillian, Ohio in 1979. A young group of kids are producing a film to enter a contest, and in the process of filming one night, they witness a train crash with some strange circumstances. They suspect that it was not just an accident, and in the course of the next few days, they learn of strange occurrences around the town, with people and animals going missing. The events are connected to something not human, and the kids must figure out how to survive the events. The movie features Kyle Chandler as the deputy in charge, and the movie focuses on his son, played by Joel Courtney, and his friends.
The film was directed by J.J. Abrams, and produced by Steven Spielberg. The film is shot from the kids’ story, with less focus on the adults. The idea of the kids producing a film is used to provide different style to the shots, giving some shots a more amateur feel. The shots never truly center in or focus on the “monster” of the film, showing just what the creature is doing, not its body until late in the film, very similar to Cloverfield. As for shooting it from the kids story, it comes across more like a Goonies film than one would have expected. Include in this the scene in which the train crashes, and you would swear Michael Bay directed it.
The acting is what I pretty much expected. With newcomers as your leads, it was impressing for them in performing their parts. Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning played the roles of the kids well, with the whole crew of the “film” pushing the story along. Kyle Chandler, an actor I enjoy, played his typical role as the tough father, not exactly a stretch for him. The actor I found the most interesting was the backup role played by Ryan Lee, a rather goofy looking kid, bringing laughs to the screen.
The film was pretty good, combining thrills with some laughs, and some great suspense. I do recommend that you watch it, but I won’t say you MUST watch it in theaters. That’s your call. I say good, meaning that it will be liked enough, but I don’t think I will watch it again. Once was enough.