Opening 4 Aug 2011
The innocence of Lillian, Ohio, in 1979, and the cataclysmic events that ensue as summer vacation begins, is captured through the eyes of five 12-year-olds. Set on winning a Super-8 competition with his zombie-horror movie, Charles (Riley Griffiths) directs a dedicated team that includes Joe (Joel Courtney), whose mom died four months earlier. Joe and his Deputy Sheriff dad Jackson (Kyle Chandler) are struggling to find a common bond.
Charles adds a female lead to strengthen his story and finagles imperious 14-year-old Alice (Elle Fanning) to play the part. One midnight they sneak out to film at an old train station; just as they capture the big take, a passing train devastatingly crashes. Only Joe has seen a truck drive onto the tracks. Only his dad grasps that Air Force Colonel Nelec (Noah Emmerich), leading the accident investigation, is withholding evidence.
Director/writer J.J. Abrams skillfully exudes now-producer Steven Spielberg’s storytelling prowess. Abrams cleverly frightens us and with impeccable timing releases information while tossing out spellbinding new clues. Super 8 is suspenseful and heartfelt and, if you want to see the kids’ final version of The Case, sit through the end credits. (Marinell Haegelin)