In a nutshell: A worthy throwback to the blockbusters of the 80s

Popcorn rating: 4/5

Watching Super 8 is like experiencing time travel. The clothes, the haircuts, the way the film is shot and even the plot points to a more innocent time when the world was enjoying its first blockbusters.

It is blissfully reminiscent of the excitement of the 80s and films like The Goonies and ET.  Super 8 is a clear tribute to that with the basic premise that a group of kids witness a train crash that is at the centre of an alien conspiracy.

But it is more than a love letter to the 80s. Modern filmmaking brings a new dimension to the old school – there are almost as many explosions as a Transformers film.

Yet the children’s innocence and reaction of sheer panic to a situation out of their control is convincing and charming.  Then again what else would you expect when the best of the old generation meets the new?  Steven Spielberg produced the film while Lost creator and Star Trek director J.J. Abrams was the man behind the camera.

The story centres around Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) in smalltown Ohio. His mum has recently died in a disastrous industrial accident and he is attempting to get over it by helping his friend create a zombie film for a school competition.  But then his home becomes swamped by the military who are ruthlessly efficient at keeping the Government’s secret just that.

As you might expect, all hell eventually breaks loose but clever camera work means you only get a true glimpse of the alien at the end of the film. It builds a tremendous and old fashioned sense of suspense.
And it’s satisfying to know an alien presence in a film can once again be fascinating and mysterious rather than world conquering.

Essentially this is a movie about friendship and community and how something so catastrophic can affect those bonds.  In truth Super 8 does go off the rails a bit towards the end but in terms of the experience and nostalgia it is definitely worth your money.

Reviewer: David Morgan


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