The critics really liked this film when it came out cause it’s about kids making a movie, and not any type, but a super 8 film. I guess it added some nostalgia if you were a film maker, and at the same time it might spark some interests for kids who liked to make movies. In other words, the film was trying to please and attract two demographics: 13-18 , and 50 and up.
The sequence of the film is relatively interesting, first there is little distraction from famous actors, second it evolves around what the kids are doing, so it can be charming, and there is build-up suspense that starts to unravel towards the very end of the film.
When I start watching it, somehow it keeps remind me of Stand by Me(1986). 5 boys and a girl are making a zombie movie: Joe Lamb(Joel Courtney), Cary(Ryan Lee), Preston(Zach Mills),Charles(Riley Griffiths),Martin(Gabriel Basso), and Alice Dainard(Elle Fanning), and they witness something they shouldn’t at their age. At gunpoint, they promise to keep the whole event a secret!
Jackson Lamb, Joe’s father, played by Kyle Chandler (get to know him when he was in TV’s Early Edition (1996-2000))is the town’s deputy sheriff, and Alice’s father is Louis Dainard(Ron Eldard), who works with Jackson’s wife. Lilian is a small industrial town, and chemicals processing is the industry. The film starts with the wake of Joe’s mom, and interrupted by Louis showing his face at Jackson’s house. Louis is an alcoholic.
There is a literal train wreck alright, perhaps in parallel to Louis’s life. To prick our interest, of course, the rival’s son and daughter is discovering their puppy love while the film is being made and weird things are happening in town. The give-away is when all the pet dogs leave town. As we all know, nature is the first to tell us something is not quite right! Like thousands of birds suddenly die and fall from sky, bears coming out of the woods attacking humans, herds of deers run into headlights,… (No, I am not talking about The Happening (2008))
After the train wreck, the Air-force takes charge of the situation, and that obviously pisses the local authority off! Federal and municipal fights, squabbles about jurisdiction rights ensure. Something “X-File-ish” must be going on if the Fed is involved!… as usual.
If so far any of these catches your interest, you should RENT it and find out what it is all about. IMO, it was comme-ci-comme-ça!