- Cast: Joel Courtney, Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Joel McKinnon Miller, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee, Gabriel Basso, Zach Mills, Jessica Tuck, Ron Eldard, Amanda Michalka, Andrew Miller, Jakob Miller, Jade Griffiths, Britt Flatmo, Glynn Turman, Noah Emmerich, Richard T. Jones, Amanda Foreman, David Gallagher, Brett Rice, Michael Giacchino, Beau Knapp, Bruce Greenwood, Dale Dickey, Jack Axelrod, Dan Castellaneta, Ben Gavin, Jay Scully, Michael Hitchcock, James Hébert, Thomas F. Duffy, Teri Clark, Tom Quinn, Caitriona Balfe, Koa Melvin, Bingo O'Malley, Tony Guma, Marco Sanchez, Jonathan Dixon, Katie Lowes
- Director: J.J. Abrams
- Writer: J.J. Abrams
- Producers: J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Steven Spielberg
- Associate Producers: Udi Nedivi, Ben Rosenblatt
- Executive Producer: Guy Riedel
- Art Direction: David Scott
- Castings: April Webster, Alyssa Weisberg
- Costume Design: Ha Nguyen
- D.O.P.: Larry Fong
- Editors: Maryann Brandon, Mary Jo Markey
- Makeup: Deborah La Mia Denaver
- Music: Michael Giacchino
- Production Design: Martin Whist
- Set Decoration: Fainche MacCarthy
In the summer of 1979, a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie and soon suspect that it was not an accident. Shortly after, unusual disappearances and inexplicable events begin to take place in town, and the local Deputy tries to uncover the truth - something more terrifying than any of them could have imagined.
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Filming Locations: Los Angeles, USA; West Virginia, USA
- MPAA Warning: Intense sequences of sci -fi action and violence and some drug use
- Production Budget: $50 million
- Production Companies: Amblin Entertainment, Bad Robot, Paramount Pictures
- Production Schedule: 20 September 2010 - November 2010
2011 Guide Analysis: "When your last film successfully rebooted one of the biggest franchises around and was widely considered one of the best studio films of the year, finding something to top it would be difficult. Instead, J.J. Abrams settled on a post-"Star Trek" effort that took him in an altogether different direction - a film that originally many suspected to be a sequel to the Matt Reeves-directed "Cloverfield" which he produced.
Certainly with all the secrecy surrounding it and a heavy viral marketing campaign, signs indicated another "Cloverfield"-style effort - if not a direct sequel, then a cousin of sorts. The truth however turned out to be something far more interesting. With "Super 8", Abrams set out to deliberately create a film in the mould of those early 80's Amblin Entertainment family features like "Gremlins," "The Goonies," "Back to the Future" and very specifically Spielberg's "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial".
Three decades on from that era of filmmaking, the term 'family film' is now usually applied to poorly thought out juvenile comedies or light action vehicles with often extreme use of cartoonish computer effects. What once was a genre with smart fare all could enjoy is now a wasteland of marketing bullsh*t often designed to engage only the thickest of kids that natural selection should've strangled from birth.
Every now and then however a rare diamond pops through and all signs indicate we might have one here. Abrams has cast a bunch of solid character actors in the cast, has a good but not exorbitant budget ($45 million), and the marketing deliberately avoids spoiling the movie. The premise is familiar but Abrams himself is making his debut feature writing effort here (his regular collaborators Kurtzman and Orci penned 'Trek' and M:I-3), and has proven himself a pretty damn good one on his various shows like "Alias," "Felicity" and "Lost".
The first real look at the film came with the movie's Superbowl commercial and the trailer shortly after - both show an astonishing recreation of the early 80's in not just the setting and production design but in the look and feel of the filmmaking on hand. With the exception of a few computer enhanced effects, it really does look like it could've been shot at the time, and reaction to both have been overwhelmingly positive.
In a summer filled with the usual raft of big budget thrills, it wouldn't come as a big surprise if once again Abrams steals the limelight with another best effort of the season. Wedged between two superhero juggernauts, it'll be interesting to see how it fares critically and economically. More importantly the word of mouth on this thing will be crucial, and one hopes Paramount will be getting the word out there more in coming weeks."