After months of mysterious and intriguing promotions, forming preconceptions about Super 8 is inevitable. Now that it’s finally arrived, the question is, does it make due on those expectations? Yes and no and that ambiguity is what makes this film so special and effective. Writer, director and producer J.J. Abrams, knows how to build hype and has no trouble handling it thereafter. Super 8 is what we’ve hoped for, but also so much more.
It’s 1979 in the small town of Lillian, Ohio, and Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) and his friends are in the midst of a big production, a zombie film. With Joe on makeup duty, Carey (Ryan Lee) handling the fiery special effects, Preston (Zach Mills) stepping in as a background actor, Martin (Gabriel Basso) playing the detective and Charles (Riley Griffiths) behind the lens, all the boys are missing is their lead actress. That’s where Alice (Elle Fanning) steps in. The group hits the road and heads to the local train station where Charles sees an oncoming train as a timely “production value.” Well, that is until it crashes, kicking off a chain of events involving a complete army takeover of Lillian.
Joe’s dad, Jackson (Kyle Chandler), the town deputy, is forced to deal with the repercussions himself as the accident triggers a series of strange occurrences including missing dogs, appliances and people that send the town into a panic. With no valid explanation, Jackson must investigate himself all while dodging the intrusive and brutal tactics of Colonel Nelec (Noah Emmerich). Meanwhile, Joe and his friends attempt to finish their zombie film with the train crash site and army presence as yet another “production value.” However, those values ultimately lead them straight into an incredibly phenomenal and dangerous situation.
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