Super 8 (2011) Film Review [Supernatural]
Super 8 is a homage to Steven Spielberg's fantastic films from the 70s and 80s. This film takes the supernatural aspects of "E.T." and "Close Encounters" and mixes them together with the coming-of-age nostalgia of "Stand By Me." There isn't much originality display on here, but sometimes that's okay.
At the center of the story is a group of teenagers who decide to make a zombie film during their summer vacation. Yes, it's a story focused on child actors but have no fear. Each kid does a fantastic job playing their characters. This is one of the better child ensemble casts that I have witnessed. Most notably are the charming Joel Courtney (in his feature debut) and the stunning Elle Fanning. Fanning in this film steals every scene she is in. The scenes involving the children were the highlights of the film.
Their summer plans get derailed when the kids experience a destructive train crash while filming a scene for their movie. The train crash is bit over the top with all of the explosions that happen, but I feel that is purposefully done to show it from the children's perspective. Kids do have a habit of over-exaggerating things, after all. Following this the kids get wrapped up in a series of strange events, disappearances, and close encounters with the military invading their small town.
While trying to discover the what and why of the strange events that happen, the kids also have to deal with some emotional baggage. The film does a great job of intertwining the supernatural story with the story of someone dealing with loss. Sometimes you just have to move on and let things go. While cheesy at times, it's a powerful message that could positively affect some of the younger viewers watching this film.