By: John ’Doc’ Strange


Directed by: J.J. Abrams (also writer and producer)


Starring: Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney, Gabriel Basso, Noah Emmerich, Ron Eldard


MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and some drug use)


Selig Rating: MATINEE


Runtime: 112 Min.


    Set in 1979, in a small Ohio town, we find s group young kids a making a zombie movie using a Super 8 film camera.  Sneaking out to shoot a scene at night at the local train station, the kids witness a horrendous train wreck.  This wreck is superbly done with shrapnel flying from the exploding cars every which way.  It bothers me that the person in the truck who is hit head-on by the train SURVIVES.

    Something escapes from the train.  Soon, people begin disappearing in horrible ways.  This includes the Sheriff, taken while getting gas.  This leaves the chief deputy, Jackson Lamb (Kyle Chandler, “Friday Night Lights”, “Early Edition”) to find out what is going on and save the town.  He is already tortured by the loss of his beloved with in an industrial accident at the local plant.

    Enter Air Force troops led by Col. Nelec (Noah Emmerich, “The Walking Dead”) who begin searching homes and questioning people without explaining their actions.  The kids even use one of the house searches by the troops as back ground for their movie.

    The kids do a better job of figuring out the answers to the puzzle than the sheriff’s department.  The back story given to justify and explain the actions of all sides is a bit hard to explain.  The best description I can give you is to imagine the story of E-T as imagined by the team of Roger Corman and made by George Romero.

    The creature is not cute and cuddly.  In fact it looks a lot like a big silver spider.  Like E-T it has one desire, to go home.  How it goes about creating a way to get home creates havoc in the town.  What bothers me is that the town’s authorities can’t seem to get their heads around the facts that the military KNOWS what is going on and is trying to cover something up.  I guess the in the 70’s the attitudes were different, more innocent.

    The best part of the movie happens during the credits as the film made by the kids is played.  It’s a hoot!



Movie Site:


The Selig Rating Scale:


FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price

MATINEE – Good movie

DOLLAR – OK movie

CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.

COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.

FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.

GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!


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