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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Super 8 can be found here.
Super 8 is based on an original script by director J.J. Abrams.
Super 8 mm film is a format of motion picture photography that was one of the most popular formats for home movies until the advent of video. It was both Steven Spielberg (producer) and JJ Abrams (director)'s first camera. The title of this movie comes from the fact that the main characters are working on an entry for a Super 8 film festival when the main plot of the story unfolds.
The date on the gravestone of Joe Lamb's (Joel Courtney) mother reads February 1979, and the actual story takes place about four months later, so it would be early summer 1979. At the beginning of the movie, the TV news is talking about the "Three Mile Island" accident: March 28, 1979.
In May 2010, a teaser trailer was released in early support of the film. The trailer shows a truck speeding down a dirt road and riding onto train tracks. After causing a train crash, one heavily enforced train car is shown being broken from the inside and we see the door blown off. In the final film, these events are shown but not from the same perspective. Instead the same scene is seen from the limited view of the main character. Not as much of the truck is seen until it is on the tracks. Likewise, the main character only sees the backside of the train car that is smashed from inside.
An alien creature that crash landed on earth in 1958 and was held captive by the US Air Force. It is intelligent, incredibly strong, about a story tall and able to conceal its movements.
The truck is driven by Dr. Woodward (Glynn Turman), a teacher at the Lillian (Ohio) Middle School. He is a disgraced former scientist for the Air Force that experimented on the alien creature. When the creature made a psychic connection with him, he learns that it is not evil and only wished to go home. This leads to a dismissal from the Air Force. When a train transporting the alien comes through his town, he uses his truck to help free the creature.
The alien apparently uses them for food, as it is shown to be a carnivore and is seen gnawing on a human leg. Dr. Woodward mentions that the alien's treatment has led it to hate mankind, making this a form of revenge.
During the credits, the movie shot by Charles (Riley Griffiths) is shown.
There has been some viewer conjecture that the monster in Super 8 is related to the monster in Cloverfield (2008). While both monsters may look similar, in body structure and face, J.J. Abrams has said that this is only because they were both designed by Neville Page. Abrams outright rejected the idea that both films take place in a shared universe. Source
The song is "Don't Bring Me Down" by ELO (Electric Light Orchestra). The version used in the film is a rerecorded version created by ELO's frontman Jeff Lynne in order for him to receive all royalties for use of the song. The original version can be found in the album Discovery.
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