Sometimes, very rarely there is a movie that comes along and makes you thankful that movies exist. One’s that help you remember that movies are suppose to be filled with wonder. Super 8 is that movie. This in a way is director JJ Abrams attempt at thanking Spielberg for all of his masterpieces. From here on there will be some SPOILERS. So I’m warning you now. If that makes you stop reading just know this, you must see this movie. Alright the film is set in a small town in Ohio in the summer of 1979. We follow a group of teens or tweens as they try and make a zombie movie. As they film a scene at a small train station they witness a truck crashing and derailing a military train. Something escapes from the train crash and starts praying on their small town.
Even though the film is made to look like a movie from the 80’s it sure does feel new. Sure many will compare it to E.T. or Jaws. This film though has a lot of layers to it. The film is less about the monster and more about being able to let go of things that are hard to do so. It’s also about forgiveness. What is great is how the film gets these points across. The kids in the movie a re frankly amazing, most films these days throw kids into movies to get an easy way for adults to care about the characters in peril. Or mostly kids are annoying as hell is movies. Here each kid has a very different personality and never do you find yourself annoyed or rolling your eyes at the film. At the beginning we follow them as they make a zombie movie, and no doubt that alone would have made a great film. The actors are engaging and demand your attention which is impressive with them being kids and all.
Once the monster does show up things are taken up a notch but man does it make you want people to take note of this film. When it attacks it will leave you tensing up in your seat. SPOILER: The creature is an alien. One that had been captured by the military. The aliens story line is also very interesting and in a time where alien movies are coming out every other month, this film takes a very interesting turn with the idea. The alien though isn’t seen very much at the beginning. It is hidden from the audience which notches up the tension a lot. My only complaint is towards the end I feel like we see too much of the creature. That is a minor almost microscopic problem though.
Super 8 is frankly a love letter to movies. Every scene feels important and special. Every performance seems to have more to it than other films. Sure would I have enjoyed even more background on the alien? Sure. But that’s not the point the characters we follow go through an evolution, one we can all understand and that is what makes this movie special. Unlike movies like Cloverfield or Battle: Los Angeles where the leads simply are looking to fight or survive. The characters in Super 8 have so much more going on that the alien is a second thought at times. It’s beautiful movie and a real summer treat. Do not miss it.