The first full trailer for the hotly anticipated J. J. Abrams project Super 8 has been released, and I’ve got to say, it’s looking pretty exciting! Ever since Lost, Abrams has become increasingly preoccupied with the strange and unusual, with the resulting projects (especially Cloverfield and Fringe) pushing the envelope a little more each time. It’s unclear whether Super 8 is a monster flick or an alien flick–perhaps it’s a little of both– but whatever it is, it’s shaping up to look fascinating indeed. Take a look here:
The first Super 8 teaser hit the public with the release of Iron Man 2 last summer, though I recall first starting to hear about Super 8 roughly around the same time that Cloverfield came out (my memory may be faulty, though, so apologies if I’m wrong). Early buzz predicted that Super 8 was in fact going to be a prequel or sequel to Cloverfield, a prediction that most likely originated from the fact that Super 8 originally looked like a “found footage” film, a la Cloverfield. This was a reasonable assumption, given that the film’s title essentially translates to Found Footage; and though there turned out to be no connection between the two, the fact that Super 8′s teaser itself used the “this is a true story” angle probably helped fan the flames a little. We learned that in 1979, the US Air Force closed a section of Area 51, and that all materials were transported to a secure facility in Ohio (Why Ohio? No idea. Maybe simply because it seems so arbitrary). Then a truck hit a train and all hell broke loose, as is wont to happen, but that’s all we had to go on.
A second trailer debuted during the Super Bowl, and this time, we started to get a little more of the actual story: a bunch of kids making a home movie witness the train crash and inadvertently documented the creature that will presumably be the movie’s monster rising from the wreckage. Okay, then: not quite a found footage film, but a film ABOUT found footage nonetheless.
And now we’ve got a full trailer, which pretty much takes what we learned from the Super Bowl trailer and expands on it. Buzzfeed describes the film as looking like “The Goonies meets Cloverfield“, and yeah, this looks to be pretty accurate. As a child of the ’80s, I am generationally required to harbor a deep love of The Goonies; however, I sincerely hope that by including Cloverfield in the mix, we’re just talking about the good bits of it and not all of the really, really bad bits of it.
Am I alone in my disappointment of Cloverfield? The marketing for it was so very awesome,* but the film ultimately just became a bunch of overly pretty people doing extremely stupid things in the face of disaster. I was less interested in the people and much more interested in the monster itself– what it was, where it came from, yadda yadda yadda, and the fact that a lot of this information was withheld actually made it even MORE intriguing. This is the element I hope Super 8 will maintain: at the end of the day, what we can dream up in our imaginations with a little nudging to set us on the right track is almost always a zillion times more terrifying than anything a filmmaker can show us onscreen.
However the film does ultimately come out, though, I will say this: the anticipation is half the fun, and Super 8 is rocking that part of it like whoa. Good on ya, Abrams and team. I’m on the edge of my seat already. Bring it!
*MINI SPOILER: My favorite viral detail involved one of the character’s MySpace page. Before the release of the film, his height was listed as 6’1″. During the film, he got ripped in half; and ever since the film’s release date, his height has been listed as 2’6″.