Harking back to the much simpler life of 1979, Super 8 is a timely reminder of what you can do with a good script, special effects and some decent actors.
It centres around Joe, a simple small town kid, who loses his mum in the opening reels. Fast forward 4 months and we see Joe as part of a motley crew of wannabe young filmmakers who inspired by the success of Star Wars (as you will notice posters and toys throughout) want to make their own sci fi zombie film.
One night though, they are in the wrong place at the wrong time; as whilst filming next to an old rail line, a train hits a truck in the middle of the line and is pretty much destroyed. What they aren’t aware of at the time, is that their camera was filming the whole thing, and that something escaped from the town and is now terrorising their town.
From here the Military become heavily involved in the clean up, and after strange goings on such as dog and people disappearing; the gang set about solving the mystery of what was being transported in the train.
Joel Courtney steals the show as Joe, who is endearing and vulnerable in the lead role. He also conveys excellently the damaged relationship he has with his father Jackson (the town’s Deputy Sheriff) following his mother’s death.
There are many similiarities to 80s favourites such as Stand By Me with the group dynamic, as well as borrowing Executive Producer Steven Spielberg’s expertises of the blockbuster for some scenes.
Super 8 is a fun ride, which like many of Spielberg’s finest blockbusters gets the basics right and the rest takes care of itself.