Last night I attended a super secret, super special screening of Super 8.
The simplistic plot revolves around a group of kids living in a small Ohio town during the 70’s. They plan to spend their summer making a zombie movie to submit to a film festival.
The story centers around Joe, the make-up artist for the movie, whom recently lost his mother in a horrible accident. Joe’s best friend Charles is the hardcore director calling the shots on scene changes, adding lines to the script and doing everything to make the film perfect for submission.
With the help of their other friends, Charles gets Alice, the somewhat older, cooler girl, to play the female lead in the movie. When Charles decides to set up a scene at a closed train depot after midnight, the kids trek out to film what would be the best scene in the whole movie.
During the filming, a train approaches the depot and Charles thinks it would be great to film the scene with the train passing by. Production value and all. The scene is interrupted when the train collides with a truck, causing a massive explosion. The kids flee the accident without knowing something unworldly was released from the train.
Weird things start happening around town- dogs running away, power outages, missing people and military men taking over, so the kids take on the scary adventure of unraveling the truth behind the accident.
Without saying more to further reveal anything else about the film, there is something people should know. If you’re looking to see a straight forward monster movie where the monster roars the whole time while feeding it’s appetite for destruction then you’re going to be disappointed. The monster has a purpose and “attacks” were subtle and at times stealthy which worked out perfectly for the pacing of the film.
The monster is merely a backdrop for this coming-of-age story surrounding childhood adventures, family struggles and letting go.
A side from the brilliant special effects and the mix of suspense, comedy and mystery, the child actors completed the magic to this film.
Elle Fanning was undeniably impacting even within the acting she did for the zombie movie. And it would be impossible for me not to mention the fiery, pyro character of Cary, played by Ryan Lee. You would think that someone who is obsessed with explosions would be a little disturbing but this little firecracker lit up the screen in every scene he was in. (Pun intended, sorry)
The collaboration of Abrams and Spielberg gave birth to a film that had the dynamics of The Goonies and the heartfelt moments of E.T.
Super 8 owned a piece of my heart so I recommend it to anyone who wants to have a nostalgic moment with their childhood.