Pop Parables at the Movies: Super 8

WARNING: This Pop Parable contains plot SPOILERS.  If you have any intention of seeing the movie (which I highly recommend), STOP reading!

When I was little, my brother and I spent a lot of time making movies.

Usually these movies had very little in the way of plot, but much in the way of laughs.

One particular story we came up with was Hawai’i Vice.

We convinced my Grandma to play the part of the criminal.

Driving along an empty road in the sugar cane fields, we begged my Dad to pull over.  We shooed Grandma into the sugar cane fields and had her sneak out and run across the street.

{Yes, my Grandma was a HOOT!}

My bro filmed her escape as I narrated the criminal’s inner dialogue, in search of the getaway car.

We didn’t submit our movies into any juvenile film festivals.

But, I’m sure that if we had done so, we would rank up there with the Coen brothers by now.

The Review

Super 8 is a story of 5 young boys, who set out one summer to make a zombie movie to be entered into a juvenile film festival.

The cinematic offspring of the producer/directorial marriage of J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg was every bit as super as I anticipated.

It’s an adventure that so perfectly captures the twilight between childhood and adolescence, while offering an entertaining, thrill seeking ride, perfect for a summer date night.  Two thumbs up!

View a trailer here (WARNING: Not suitable for children; rated PG-13)

The Plot

In Super 8, an alien life form experiences a traumatic crash landing to earth.

The United States Air Force captures the alien in an effort to harness and exploit its’ extra-terrestrial powers.

When the alien escapes, the town of Lillian, Ohio, is turned upside down.

The alien behaves like an injured dog, growling and baring his teeth in defensiveness.

Reacting out of fear and pain, the alien becomes a destructive force, annihilating everything in its’ path, killing many, and wiping out power sources.

It creates a subterannean lair, hoarding all kinds of metal and electrical equipment, cocooning captured humans and prey for future consumption.

Finally, the alien captures Joe {the boy hero} in its’ tentacles.

Joe looks into the soul baring eyes of the alien and says, “Bad things happen.  But, you can still live.”

Joe is the only person who empathizes with the alien, recognizing the suffering it has endured.

The alien simply wants to escape the pain of earth and be free to return home.  He was homesick!

Once the alien’s pain is recognized, it’s as if a healing has occured. 

With renewed vigor, the alien finally gathers the strength necessary to return home.

Pop Parable

In this fallen world, bad things happen all the time, causing pain, even trauma in our lives.
Sometimes the pain is inflicted upon us.  Other times, we inflict the pain upon ourselves.

Either way, pain and trauma were not part of God’s original design for His Creation.

But, after the Fall, they became a standard part of mankind’s existence.

Often that pain develops into the filter by which we engage the world around us.
In the worst cases, the pain mutates into an addictive behavior (i.e. sexual abuse can turn into sexual addiction), becoming a destructive force.

We can wreck havoc on the lives of our friends and family members, even strangers, often with no awareness of how our actions affect others.

Rather than releasing our pain to God and allowing Him to work a healing miracle, we hold onto it.

We nurture it, shield it, hide it, protect it, or bury it.

Because it is so agonizing to relive the trauma, we stuff it deep down into our hearts, into the subterranean lair.

And, while we may think that this means no one sees it, that’s it’s a secret harbored in the depths of our soul, the truth is that a wound left untended, untreated, and unhealed, becomes infected, causing an ever greater trauma. 
As followers of Christ, there is no reason for our pain to be left untreated.
God uses our pain and our trauma to draw us to Him. 
He promises to redeem our broken places.   
Sometimes it takes another person in our lives to recognize our pain before we can confess that it exists.
It’s an acknowledgement, a validation, an admission, that, yes something bad happened. 
Then we begin to uncurl the death grip and release it to Him, trusting in Him as the healing begins.
With the hands of a potter, He lovingly takes what was damaged and makes it whole again.
And, even though bad things happen, we can live again, as a display of His glory.
 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
   because the LORD has anointed me
   to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
   to proclaim freedom for the captives
   and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
   and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
   instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
   instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
   instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
   a planting of the LORD
   for the display of His splendor.  (Isaiah 61:1-4

Has someone empathized with you over a place of pain?  Have you ever been able to do that for someone else?

Is there a trauma in your life that has been remade into a display of His splendor?


Have you seen {or do you plan to see} Super 8?


13 thoughts on “Pop Parables at the Movies: Super 8

  1. Well.  No reason to see the movie.  You ruined it for me.  Thanks, Keri.  Thanks so much.

    LOL!  Kidding!

    When my first wife, who shall remain nameless, decided to commit adultery and then mock me about it as she filed for divorce from me, I honestly thought it was the most hellish and vile thing that could ever have happened to me.  Divorce is like trying to unscramble scrambled eggs.  Mine felt like surgery without anesthesia.  I culd feel the blades slicing me to ribbons and no one, NO ONE, could take away that pain this side of Heaven.

    However…God was there the whole time.  He saw it all.  He knew the story.  He began to put me back together….

    Indeed, in His time, my Father turned it all around and brought me great peace and joy despite the pain I had felt.

    1. You should totally see the movie.  I don’t think my post really, really spoiled it.  But, some people are pretty intense about not knowing what’s gonna happen. 

      So happy that God has worked a healing in your life through your divorce.  Have you been able to share that process, that healing, that redemption with others who have been divorced or are going through a divorce?

      1. Have you been able to share that process, that healing, that
        redemption with others who have been divorced or are going through a

        A little.  Mostly it has been used to minister to folks going through adultery committed by their spouses.  On that issue I have great familiarity.  However, my thrust is to see reconciliation for others and my particular situation ended in her divorcing me.  So once ‘divorce’ comes into the picture, I lose my influence.

  2. You write these pop parables so well! Super 8..woot woot. Definitely a great summer flick. 

    Yes, I’m so thankful that God has gave me certain people in my life that know my past, and are able to support, and build me up. There definitely was a trauma in my life–pretty crappy one if I may add, and it’s heavy stuff, but I’m so glad that God has turned my sorrows into joy. It wasn’t the best of circumstances, but I’ve experienced so much healing, and grown a lot.

    I honestly try to do that with a lot of people, especially after all the things that happened to me, I know it’s never fun to be on this journey alone. You need that support group and community.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Jonathan.  I have some massive technical issues while writing this, and almost threw in the towel.  EEK! 

      Having people in my life who know me, know where I’ve been, and where I’m going-that is true acceptance, and a perfect picture of the Father’s love.  He’s seen me at my worst, and knows the end product. 

      When I read your words here, I think of James 1:2-3
      2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

      Despite your trauma, you are such a kind hearted and giving person.  That right there is evidence of His display of splendor.  I’m sad to know of your pain, but so happy to see where He has brought you. 

  3. I saw it. I enjoyed it. It didn’t change my life, but I really liked it. I did feel like it dragged a little bit and I was ready to see the alien about half way through. 

    The acting by the kids was fantastic. It was like a modern day Goonies.

    I’m digging the parable you pulled out. I was wondering why you highlighted specific words and then made the connection in the parable. Do you always do that and I just now realized it??

    1. So, honestly, I was super exhausted from 5 days (really, FIVE) of birthday celebrations for my hubby and 2nd born.  And, I feel asleep for about 10 minutes in the movie.  Mike had to fill me in when I was writing this.  LOL

      Those kids were fantabulous.  I def thought of Goonies.  They cracked me up, especially the barfer and the pyro kid.  :)

      So, this is the first time I highlighted the words like that-you haven’t missed a beat.  I don’t know if I’ll always do that, but it seemed appropriate here.  After I wrote this, Mike told me I could have focused on the end part-with the locket.  Darn, that woulda been a good one, too.  I also thought of doing something along the lines of fear/wonder.  Glad I didn’t, because Think Christian just wrote a cool one about it.  >> http://ow.ly/5m4bh

  4. “Often that pain develops into the filter by which we engage the world around us.”

    That is so true… and then it becomes an identity by which we live… “victim” or “wounded”… great parable!

    1. So often those who taken on the identity of “victim” or “wounded” remind me of that injured dog, who curls up in the corner, tending his wounds, and growling at anyone who wants to help.  It’s really hard to be around someone like that-they are usually not the easiest people to relate to.  Really, it’s  a defense mechanism.  But, I’ve found that when I focus on the non-wounded parts, they eventually let me into the wounded parts. 

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing, Jenny.  :)

  5. Okay, so I’m not reading your post or the comments because I think I want to see the movie. One question though, do I need to wait and watch this movie when my parents or sister are visiting? I like thrillers and Sci Fi and even some scaryish movies, but I do live alone and I like to actually sleep at night.

    Reading just the questions at the end of your post really makes me want to read the post. But I’ll wait. If I know how the movie ends, I’ll never watch it.

    1. I don’t think this movie would freak you out at all.  I think a lot of people think it’s a scary movie, but I didn’t think it was scary at all.  I mean, there’s an “alien” in it, but it’s not freaky like the movie “Alien”.  Unless you get nightmares from just about anything, I think you’ll be okay.  :)

      1. Nah, I’m not total wimp or anything. Except for zombie movies. I don’t like zombies. I don’t know why… Oh, except I did like that Will Smith zombie movie. Okay, forget I said anything.  :)

        Aliens don’t scare me. I grew up on X-Files, The Twilight Zone, and Star Trek TNG.

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