SPOILER: In the summer of 1979, a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness a 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.Written by
J.J. Abrams named the film's fictional setting, Lillian, Ohio, after his grandmother. The map showing where runaway dogs were found shows it located on the north side of route 35 ten miles west of Dayton (twenty-two miles west of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base). See more »
After the train wreck, one scene shows the car they came in has a steel or wooden beam/bar stuck into the rear wheel area and debris is piled close to the car - yet when they get in it to escape, the car is clear and they easily pull out of the lot (at around 35 mins). See more »
Wow, I really, really wanted to like this movie. I had mixed expectations going in. On the one hand, I expected a typical Spielberg style kids vs. monster type flick, on the other, I have been disappointed by Abrams before with Cloverfield.
So, for the first three quarters of the movie, I was actually enjoying the ride. At least this time, Abrams managed to make characters that I could care about. I was able to suspend my disbelief and go along in spite of many problems with physics and continuity. As the story went on, the unexplained bits and pieces of the plot began to wear thin.
Basically, if you read the negative reviews on here you will see the problems with this film; the complete rehashing of so many Spielberg clichés, multiple goofy continuity problems, and poor plot exposition and so on. I actually could have overlooked most of this for the positives, if it weren't for the particularly flat ending.
The rest of the film had enough great production values, character development and a great feeling of an old time 50's monster movie I really was having fun, until it got toward the end. They just couldn't pull all the plot elements together in a satisfying way. Worst yet, the ending fell totally flat. Where there should have been some tension building with a good climactic scene, it just kind of ended, plop, that was it, very unsatisfying.
I don't understand the trend with filmmakers like Abrams, Shyamalan and a others these days. There is a tendency to have characters with strong but contrived story lines, where the plot exposition is so minimal and choppy that it is difficult to actually develop an emotional connection with them. Then, it is difficult to tell where some of their motivation comes from. Ultimately, these characters act in ways that seem inappropriate under the circumstances. Anyway, I just tire with this kind of half-ass story telling. These guys need to watch some classic Hitchcock, Lumet, Reiner etc. and get some tips on plot and character development.
Bummer, this was so close to being a really good movie, if not great, it just needed better storytelling and a decent ending.
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