Somewhere along the line, the Paramount Pictures marketing team decided that selling J.J. Abrams' Super 8 as a throwback to the wondrous science-fiction films of the 1970s and '80s was a mistake - the studio has since been keen to emphasize the darker, more thrilling and mysterious elements of the movie.
That in part accounts for why the recent Super 8 TV spots and now two semi-complete clips released from the film don't paint it so much as being E.T. meets Stand By Me - and instead, as more of a flat-out spooky and exciting cinematic tale.
Many a person was taken off-guard by the Super 8 trailer, with its enchanting musical score and almost fairy tale-inspired atmosphere. The mix of personal family drama, a coming-of-age storyline, and fantastical sci-fi thrills on display was unexpected, especially considering that there had long been speculation that the project was secretly tied to Cloverfield somehow - possibly, a prequel, or a movie set in the same universe, perhaps.
Here is the official plot synopsis for Super 8:
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.
Two edited (read: incomplete) clips have been released from Super 8, offering a look at the "catastrophic" set piece mentioned in the official synopsis - and by the looks of it, that scene alone should make the movie worth seeing on an IMAX screen.
Check out those clips (via Moviefone) below:
Abrams' preference for revealing few concrete details about his projects prior to their theatrical release appears to have once again served him well; the marketing campaign for Super 8 has been quite effective at grabbing your attention without actually revealing its hand (or, rather, the creature in the film). It helps that the movie also sounds and looks promising on its own terms - as both an homage to more old-fashioned Steven Spielberg films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and as an original creation by Abrams.
Super 8 hits regular and IMAX theaters next month on June 10th.