Director & Screenplay JJ Abrams
Stars Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, Amanda Michalka, Kyle Chandler
DoP Larry Fong
Editors Maryann Brandon & Mary Jo Markey
LocationsWest Virgina & Ohio, USA
Opened (UK) August 5
JAMES MOTTRAM Super 8 is certainly the best summer film we’re likely to see this year. There were moments about halfway through where I thought,’ Yeah this is pretty perfect,’ but I don’t think the second half delivered. If I’m being honest, I was a bit disappointed by the alien itself. It didn’t spoil the film but I didn’t think it was a ‘stuff of nightmares’ type creature.
NIKKI BAUGHAN I suppose if you’re 12, it would be pretty scary! But maybe we’re just being really blasé, because we’ve just seen so much CGI now. That’s a fault of the times; I think that, as audiences, we have just seen so much now, there’s not much left that could surprise us.
JAMES It’s certainly very different to those alien films of the eighties; ET or the creatures in Close Encounters, they are anodyne creatures, they are harmless. This is a carnivorous monster. You could certainly tell that this was made in this era and not just because of the sophistication of the filmmaking but because there’s perhaps a more vicious edge to it.
NIKKI It’s also really nice to see what is almost an old fashioned film, particularly when summer films have become so high concept. Even though this does, admittedly, have some high concept elements, the crux of the story is ultimately about a group of kids doing something together. They are all finding an outlet for something through the film they are making, whether it is low self-esteem or grief or whatever. I also liked the fact that, for them, the alien wasn’t the most important thing happening around them; they were more concerned about their film, their various relationships. It’s a coming-of-age piece.
JAMES And that’s probably what works the best; it is a very emotional set of stories. There were a couple of the boys who weren’t particularly well developed, but they got the look of the mid-80s kids really well, the look of the film was perfect.
NIKKI Well, Abrams is clearly a massive fanboy, and that really works to his advantage in the projects he chooses. And he is an extremely good story teller…
JAMES He certainly knows how to make a film, no doubt about it.
Nikki Baughan ★★★★★
James Mottram ★★★★★