Why Super 8 isn’t this year’s Cloverfield

Saturday May 8th 2010

WARNING: The above video shows a grainy, handheld recording of the ‘secret’ trailer for JJ Abrams’ upcoming alien romp Super 8. If you do not wish to see or hear about the trailer until it is released in full HD quality, skip this post.

The blogosphere didn’t know what to do with itself a few days ago when rumours emerged that JJ Abrams was going to surprise Iron Man 2 audiences in the States with a trailer for his secret Spielberg collab Super 8. For once they’d been duped, kept in the dark about a new film from two of Hollywood’s most powerful filmmakers. It was like Cloverfield all over again, and the trailer promised to be just as exciting.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t:

Where Cloverfield caught us off guard by pretending to be a documentary about the most annoying people on the planet, Super 8 opens with a title card that essentially says ‘this is about aliens’.

While Cloverfield delayed the action until the end of the trailer to keep us intrigued (even chucking in a misinformed news bulletin to throw us off the scent), Super 8 hits its most exciting moment 30 seconds in with a big fiery train crash.

Cloverfield told us this was a JJ joint at the end. Super 8 spoils the punch line before we’ve even got to the climax…

Most crucially of all, where the Cloverfield trailer revealed that this wasn’t a terrorist attack or a natural disaster but a fully-blown creature invasion with its iconic shot of the Statue of Liberty’s severed head, Super 8 just arrives at the moment we’ve been waiting for for the last minute: some vague hint of an alien.

Then again, Cloverfield turned out to be a whole barrel of rubbishness, so maybe this actually bodes well…