What is Super 8 about?

Super 8 is the new film from Cloverfield and Star Trek director J J Abrams and it looks MEGA. Produced by Steven Spielberg, Super 8 has been hidden behind a veil of secrecy up until now. We analyse the new full length Super 8 trailer and see if things are any clearer (Answer: not much). What is Super 8 about?

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What we now know

The earlier teaser trailers featured blurry flashes and concentrated on a group of teenagers making their own zombie movie somewhere in the USA with a Super 8 camera (using a special 8mm film released in the 1960’s). JJ fanboys discovered images hidden in those flashes including the date September 19 1962 (which in real life, was the date that the USSR performed some nuclear tests). The full length trailer provides much more detail, and we now know the following:

1. 00.01 Some crazy kids are making a movie with a Super 8 camera on a train platform.
2. 00.11 A train goes past and spectacularly crashes into a car.
3. 00.24 We hear Cloverfield-style monster growling and see a man pounced on.
4. 00.30 A woman is seen screaming as the voice-over states that someone saw ‘it’.
5. 00.34 Shots of a makeshift hospital and military personnel.
6. 00.40 Things start flying through the air telekinetic style, general street carnage.
7. 00.42 The Super 8 kids see something moving around inside a garage and investigate.
8. 00.47 Letters on screen state “It arrives“.
9. 00.51 The kids see some magical object manipulation.
10. 00.56 The Military seal off the town. Cue panicking crowds.
11. 01.00 The kids review their Super 8 footage and see something unnerving.
12. 01.04 We’re informed that 9 people are missing and we see a flying car!
13. 01.05 Voice-over “no dangerous ‘persons’ aboard train”, kids find a man upside down.
14. 01.14 A youth gets dragged along the floor of a convenience store.
15. 01.46 Lots of stuff blows up.
16. 01.17 We see weird pills packed in boxes.
17. 01.22 A soldier asks his boss “Is there a particular area that you want me to shoot it?”

So after all that we can deduce that there’s an alien/monster/thing in the train that crashes and the kids making the movie see something on their camera film that shocks them. The military are definitely involved when something akin to the Cloverfield monster is let loose on the town. Goody.

What we don’t know (yet)

So as usual, the trailer has asked as many questions as it has answered. What is in the train? Is it a monster? Is it of alien origin? What did the kids see on the camera? Why is there a man hanging upside down? What are the pills? What is the military hospital for? Is Super 8 about Cloverfield’s relations? And most importantly, are there any absent fathers in this film?

There’s also a Viral Campaign

Back in 2010, JJ’s team were already producing a viral campaign (very much like they did leading up to the release of Cloverfield) centring around the Rocket Poppeteers website. Not mentioned in any of the trailers, Rocket Poppeteers are some kind of spacemen, led by Captain Coop, who informs site users to ‘blast into the past’. You can also register to join the ‘rocket poppeteer astronaut program’ which involves filling out survey questions such as “could you defeat an evil Kladrog all by yourself?”. What the blazers is a Kladrog? No flipping idea! Abrams is well known for using a product called Slusho in a lot of his productions (It’s a soft drink first seen in Alias, it is also the company that Rob is going to work for in Cloverfield and is one of the drinks ordered at the bar by Uhura when she meets Kirk in Star Trek). This time around, the Rocket Poppeteers love eating rocket popsicles, which may or may not contain Slusho. What this has to do with the film, we’ve no clue.

Even with all this information, there is a so much more to Super 8 than meets the eye, and that’s what makes it special. Super 8 is out on 5 August 2011, when all (or at least some, please) of its secrets will be revealed.

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