x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

The JJ Abrams effect still packs in the thrills

The creator of Lost and Cloverfield has captured imaginations once again with his new film Super 8.

If anyone can cast their minds far back enough to remember the promotional teasers for Lost, they should recall a group of mysterious characters stood around the wreckage of a plane on an unknown beach.

It instantly had us - tickling every curiosity bone known to modern science, a factor that no doubt led to the show later being commissioned for approximately 56 million seasons (and the subsequent numbing of curiosities).

A few years later, the campaign for Cloverfield featured a series of jerky handycam clips of a monstrous attack on New York without any clue as to the assailant or, indeed, the film title. Bang, off we went again.

It will surprise nobody, then, to hear that the chap behind both of these hits, one Mr JJ Abrams, is back with another successful secretive marketing campaign for what could be the hit of the summer. Super 8, an original concept with mainly unknown names in the lead roles, sees a group of young chums in 1979 witness a train crash that releases an alien into their small American town. However, rather than showcasing the giant extraterrestrial beast tear up Ohio, with pickup trucks being flung through ice cream parlour façades (just a thought), the film's ad spots over the past few weeks have focused mainly on the friendship between the kids and their fondness for filmmaking.

Abrams' cheeky tease appears to have worked again, with last weekend's opening takings across North America enough to knock X-Men: First Class from the top spot. UAE cinemagoers will get their chance to uncover the mystery when the film opens here on Thursday.