J. J. Abrams directs Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney and Kyle Chandler in this Amblin sci-fi adventure where a smalltown in the Seventies becomes embroiled with an escaped alien cover-up and only the nerdy kids know the truth.
Not the blast I remember. Still mostly fun but a bit too studied. Abrams gets his Spielberg homage pitch perfect when dousing the wonder in mystical light or busying the screen with a small town in cutesy distracted chaos. The middle act through is too heavy and too sentimental. Aside from Fanning, the supporting kids lack personality and are pretty interchangeable. These aren’t the well defined and popping personalities of The Goonies or even Stranger Things. The best moments really are the making and final presentation of the Z grade horror movie the gang were distracted from by all these train crashes, tanks, choppers and close encounters. Felt a little baggy and underwhelming on a second watch even if it is a very well crafted blockbuster.
Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk
We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/