Super 8

Question: Alice wants to see her father die for all he did to her. How come Joe doesn't want the same for his father for all he did to him?

Cody Fairless-Lee

Answer: I don't believe Alice said she "wants to see her father die", and I'm not sure what you mean by "for all he [Mr. Dainard] did to her." Alice told Joe that SOMETIMES she wishes her dad would have died instead of Joe's mother. When Joe replied that she shouldn't say that because he is her dad, Alice got his point and did not continue to say anything else, such as that she really meant what she said. What did Alice's dad "do to her"? He did say she wasn't going to Joe's party (which she made up). He told her to go in the house and wanted Joe to leave. After Alice went to Joe's and tried to sneak back into the house after dark, Mr. Dainard told Alice to "leave", just like her mother did. As soon as Alice was out the door, Mr. Dainard immediately followed to get her back and suffered injuries trying to do so (but the "monster" got her). Alice probably didn't know her dad told Joe's dad (deputy) that he did not want Joe seeing his daughter again - she was "off limits."


What did Joe's dad (Mr. Lamb) "do to him"? He tried to get him to go to summer camp, but didn't make him. He said he wished Joe wouldn't hang around a certain friend (Cary) so much because he kept lighting things on fire - but didn't stop him. When Joe dropped a flashlight on the kitchen floor, his dad told him to pick it up. Mr. Lamb told Joe to make sure he fed their dog Lucy. Mr. Dainard made it clear inside the sheriff's station that Joe was not to be around Alice anymore, so when Mr. Lamb caught Joe with Alice on the street, he put Joe in the police car, took him home, and demanded that he stop seeing Alice and said they could not be friends. I don't see any behavior by Joe's dad that would make Joe want him dead.


Answer: Because they're two different people who have different emotions, different experiences, and would not react exactly the same way about their fathers.


Question: Why would Joe and his father hug each other in the end? Mr. Lamb treated his son like dirt and yelled at him for being around Alice, bringing Joe to tears. The ending felt like an unearned father-son moment as well as an unearned father-daughter moment for Alice and her father.

Cody Fairless-Lee

Answer: The ending was rather weak and contrived in that it too quickly resolved the parent/child conflicts. The story's intent is to show that despite both fathers' faults and the conflicts they had with their children, that the dads do love their kids. The adversity brings everyone together, and the kids are able to forgive their dads and would not have wanted to lose them. Hopefully all will have more positive relationships in the future.


Answer: Mr. Lamb was overwhelmed by the possibility he could have "lost" his son that day. Hugging Joe tightly for an extended time and saying, "I got you! I got you!" was his way of expressing how relieved and elated he was seeing Joe was alive and well. Though not very good at expressing his feelings toward Joe, nurturing him, or engaging in positive communication, this demonstration of their deep-down bond suggests or indicates the father-son relationship will grow in a positive direction. Mr. Lamb's interactions with Joe had been more like a sheriff talking to a suspect or offender than a father talking to his son. The "monster", destruction, and chaos in the community (Lillian) created a life-threatening situation - but also served as a catalyst for rethinking one's roles, relationships, and priorities in life. Thinking back to the opening scene when Mrs. Kaznyk was at the wake and told her husband sitting next to her, "I don't think he [Mr Lamb] understands Joe", there is a sign at the end of the movie that this will not be true much longer.


Question: During the scene where the kids are eating in the diner and they are talking about the train crash, you can see Joe's father getting out of his police car across the street at the Auto Sales lot. I've noticed in movies that they don't usually have a major character appear in a scene without a reason, even in the background. So it makes me wonder if they cut out some interaction with Joe's father in the diner, or if this diner scene was originally intended to appear at a different point in the film, such as when Joe's father visits the car lot when the owner is complaining about things missing from his cars. I've watched my DVD many times, and I only just noticed this. Now I'm dying to know.


Answer: The explanation for the police car going into the auto dealership when Joe and friends are at the dinner is provided by J.J. Abrams in the "Commentary": "As it was originally written, you [audience] were simultaneously with the father going into the car dealership... umm... and with the kids in the diner. We ended up moving the structure around. So, it wasn't... umm. It was no longer simultaneous." Abrams said that the kids had been rehearsing at the table. Filming the auto dealership scene was finished so they went ahead and filmed the kids at the diner, too.


Question: Did Joe ever got his dog back? He never mentions it the whole film.


Answer: I believe his dog was found in a different county (Brookville) and held in a kennel or shelter with the assumption that Joe (or his father) needed to pick her (Lucy?) up.


Answer: Alice "borrowed" her father's car without permission and was driving without a license at age 12. She didn't want to get caught, but Joe - the deputy's son - saw her and she was afraid that Joe would tell his dad. Joe said she could trust him and his father would never know. Alice may have already liked Joe or spending time together made his attraction grow. They also had something in common that caused them sadness and could relate to - neither had a mother around anymore. They apparently were an "only child", which was not relatively common in 1979; both were left "home alone" when their fathers were at work or elsewhere, signifying they may have been lonely and in need of a friend who could relate to these circumstances.


Answer: Their initial dislike stemmed from their fathers' mutual animosity over the fatal accident that killed Joe's mother. Alice may have come to understand and accept why Joe blamed her father, who was indirectly responsible for his mother's death. This eventually allowed them to grow close.


I didn't get the impression that Joe and Alice initially disliked one another. In fact, Joe's eyes lit up with excitement when he found out that Alice was going to be driving them to film the movie - Joe was already infatuated with Alice. Moreover, I don't think that Joe initially knew that Alice's dad played an indirect role in his mother's death. Alice eventually told Joe that her father works at the place where his mother worked and later told Joe that her dad was supposed to work the day of the accident but called off (and Joe's mother filled in for him, thereby putting her in the position to have an accident at work when it was supposed to be her day off).

Factual error: After the train crash, the teen characters discover cube-like items. One of them states it looks like a Rubik's Cube. The movie itself takes place in 1979, but the Rubik's Cube, although invented in 1974, was not licensed to sell in the USA until 1980. It was not even called a "Rubik's cube" until 1980 (prior to this, it was known as a "Magic Cube"). (00:21:55)


More mistakes in Super 8

Cary: Excuse me, can I have another order of fries? Because my friend here is fat.
Charles: Funny, Chompers. At least I don't need a booster seat.

More quotes from Super 8

Trivia: The name of the gas station is Kelvin. This was also the name of the spaceship that was destroyed in Star Trek, another J.J. Abrams film.


More trivia for Super 8

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