This is a sci-fi movie written and directed by JJ Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is a typical summer movie and a very Spielberg movie. JJ Abrams directed the very succesful Lost TV series.
Super 8, set in late 1970’s in Lilian a fictional small town in Ohio. It is about a missing alien being hunted by the US Air Force. The alien escaped from a train wreck while being transported.
The movie starts with a scene in the town’s steel mill showing their accident-free days in a billboard coming to an end. One of their employees, the wife of one of the town’s officer met an accident and died. They have a son together, Joe Lamb which is one of the main characters in the movie. A few months later Joe and his friends stumbled upon the train wreck when they were “filming” a home-made horror movie in the train station. During the filming, the transport train crashes, their abandoned camera ( a Super 8 which is a staple of many American families at that time for home recording) captures something. That something escapes and hides and you don’t see it physically until late in the movie.
This is an alien movie but the alien only has a supporting role. Nobody among the characters in the movie stand out as a performer; there are so many subplots. Elle Fanning (sister of Dakota) stars as Alice Dainard, a spitfire and the love interest of Joe Lamb. She played the femme fatale in the home-made zombie movie the kids are filming.
Watching Super 8 is like watching the movies made by Spielberg during the 70’s and 80’s. Movies like E.T., Close Encounter of the Third Kind, Jurassic Park, Jaws, etc. Abrams has made a movie very similar to Spielberg’s. JJ Abrams should stop aping Spielberg and creating his own style. Super 8 is a nostalgic recreation of E.T. , Gremlins, Polthergeist, etc. Like Spielberg’s movies Super 8 is a popcorn entertainment.
If you like to watch the sci-fi movies made by Spielberg, have Netflix send these movies to you or watch them online. Don’t waste your time and money on Super 8.