Characters: Super 8
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The Film Crew
Joseph ‘Joe’ Lamb
Played By: Joel Courtney
- Adorkable: Whenever Alice is around he can barely think.
- Badass Pacifist: Joe gets the alien to leave Earth just by using empathy.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Calls out his dad for making him stay away from Alice without getting to know her
- Character Development: Becomes more assertive and finally accepts his mother's death.
- Determinator: Nothing stopped Joe from going to rescue Alice from the alien.
- Hurting Hero: His mother's death and father's Parental Neglect didn't do him good for his emotional health.
- Nice Guy: The most mature and well-mannered of his friends.
- Parental Neglect: Joe's father can't wait to shovel him off to a camp for the summer. He's terrified of being left alone with Joe.
- Took a Level in Badass: Part of his character development has him letting people walk all over to standing up for himself and others. Also, he entered a flesh-eating alien's lair, something that Joe probably wouldn't do in the beginning.
- Tragic Keepsake: His Mom's locket.
- Would Hit a Girl: But hesitantly and only because it was the only way to wake her up so that they could run for their lives.
Played By: Elle Fanning
- Abusive Parents: Of the neglectful, alcoholic kind.
- Distressed Damsel: Gets kidnapped by the alien near the end.
- Jerkass Façade: To deal with her abusive father and the guilt she feels for his indirect role in the death of Joe's mother.
- Missing Mom: Alice's mother left them at some point.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only girl in the main cast.
Played By: Riley Griffiths
- Hot-Blooded: He's somewhat abrasive and short-tempered.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With everyone, but especially Cary.
Played By: Ryan Lee
- Ax-Crazy: A heroic example.
- Keet: He's pretty hyperactive and easily excitable.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Charles, but also with Martin and Preston.
Played By: Gabriel Basso
- Ill Boy: He has a very weak stomach.
Played By: Zach Mills
Residents of Lillian, Ohio
Jackson ‘Jack’ Lamb
Played By: Kyle Chandler
- His Heart Will Go On: Heavily implied after he, in his own way, forgives Louis.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The "jerk" part comes from planning to send his son away because he didn't know how to talk to him and forbidding Joe from spending time with Alice because of her being the daughter of Louis. The "heart of gold" comes from him forgiving Louis and saving his son.
Played By: Ron Eldard
- Abusive Parents: Of the neglectful kind.
- Jerkass Façade: Acts like an asshole mostly due to his wife abandoning him and Alice, as well his guilt over making Mrs. Lamb cover for him at work, which lead to her death.
- Survivor Guilt: All Louis wanted to do was apologize to Jack for indirectly causing his wife's death.
Dr. Thomas Woodward
Played By: Glynn Thurman
- The Atoner: For his part in experimenting on the alien.
- Butt Monkey: He's never seen in a single normal situation. He's always being grabbed, or hurt, or tortured...
- Defiant to the End: Tells Nelec exactly what he thinks of him.
Played By: Brett Rice
- It Will Never Catch On: Sort of. He's disdainful of portable music because he thinks it's a 'slippery slope'. Indeed, the guy he chides for it fails to overhear Pruitt being attacked.
- The Sheriff: Of Lillian.
Played By: Kyle Gallagher
- The Stoner: He's the town's local pot dealer, and is more often high than not.
Mr & Mrs Kaznyk
Played By: Joel McKinnon Miller & Jessica Tuck
- Happily Married: They're never seen arguing, and seem like a team when it comes to dealing with their many kids.
- Parental Substitute: They make it clear they're fully prepared to be there for Joe.
Played By: Amanda Michalka
The Air Force
Played By: Noah Emmerich
- Bad Boss: He murders his former employee Dr Woodward in cold blood, and sends his Dragon into a practically suicidal situation.
- Big Bad: Nelec is the true villain of the story; all the horrible events that plague Lillian can be traced back to his initial actions.
- Dirty Coward: He sends his own men up against the Alien basically to serve as canaries down the mine, and when he's confronted he tries to escape by opening the cage he kept the kids in.
- Exact Words: He gently promises he will 'take care' of Woodward...but Woodward knows what that means.
- Karmic Death: Ripped apart by the Alien he brutally tortured.
- Just Desserts: He's killed and eaten by the Alien.
- Torture Technician: He was responsible for torturing the alien, and also tortured Woodward for info.
Master Sergeant Overmeyer
Played By: Richard T. Jones
- The Dragon: To Colonel Nelec.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: He's ripped out of the bus by the Alien as he's trying to clarify an order from Nelec.
- Punch Clock Villain: He's following orders, and otherwise doesn't seem like all that bad a guy.
- Oh, Crap: He understandably looks terrified when Nelec orders him to tag the creature.
Played By: Bruce Greenwood
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: When he first crashed, all he wanted was to go back to his planet. Nelec and the military subjected him to cruel experiments and inhumane conditions amounting to torture. Angry and in agony, he kills humans freely after escaping.
- Big Eater: Of humans.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Humans become his source of food.
- Immune to Bullets: The combined might of the Air Force doesn't impact him much. Nelec unloads an entire magazine into his face and it doesn't slow him down.
- No Name Given: We never learn his true name, or the name of his race.
- Not So Different: From Joe; both have been through a trauma and feel alone in the world.
- Psychic Link: With whoever he touches, seemingly by choice.
- Tunnel King: He gets about by tunneling underneath the town, able to come and go as he wishes.