If J.J. Abrams had his way, the general public wouldn’t know a single thing about his new film, Super 8, until opening day. The first real footage from the picture was unveiled in an enigmatic Super Bowl TV spot, and Abrams offered little in the way of concrete details when interviewed about the sci-fi/monster movie.

Now Paramount Pictures has gone ahead and released the full-length trailer and official synopsis for Super 8. Both provide a bit more insight about the pic, but only hint at the true nature of the strange creature at the heart of the plot.

What has been known about Super 8 for a while is that it revolves around a group of kids in the 1970s who encounter a bizarre creature while shooting a movie, via 8 mm film stock. Abrams’ new project is also said to pay homage to sci-fi and coming-of-age stories from the ’70s and ’80s – flicks like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Stand By Me, to be exact.

There was also an E.T.-style atmosphere to the Super 8 TV spot. That surprised a number of viewers, who were expecting something that harkened more to the Abrams-produced Cloverfield in terms of tone. Steven Spielberg’s classic story of adolescents who encounter a life form not of this Earth has a sense of charm and wonder, but there’s a dark undercurrent to the tale as well, and Super 8 looks like it could be the same, based off the official synopsis and theatrical trailer.

Without further adieu, here’s the official Super 8 synopsis, followed by the full-length theatrical preview (via Facebook):

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.

Even after Abrams clarified that Super 8 is not related to Cloverfield, there was still speculation that the former could be another “found footage” mockumentary, possibly be shot in (naturally) 8 mm even. Once it was announced that Super 8 will be released in IMAX, that seemed less likely – and now the footage that has been shown from the pic demonstrates that it was filmed as a standard fictional narrative piece.

This new trailer touches on the personal drama of Super 8, including the father/son dynamic, first love, and the bond that forms between young people as they are forced to confront extraordinary circumstances. It also provides a glimpse at the film’s special F/X, which look rather impressive, and seem like a sturdy blend of practical and digital material. Also – is the lens flare becoming a visual motif for Abrams, much like flashlights are for Steven Spielberg?

Super 8 made our most anticipated releases of 2011 list, and there’s good reason to hope that Abrams’ latest will be a very exciting, intriguing, and maybe even touching story. While Cloverfield (which Abrams neither wrote or directed) ended up being essentially a straightforward monster movie, Super 8 appears to be more of a blend of genres – with elements of an alien invasion flick, conspiracy thriller, family drama, and even a supernatural creature feature.

We’ll find out for certain when Super 8 hit theaters this summer on June 10th.