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27 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 stars for a new wrinkle in the "found footage" style of filmmaking, February 10, 2012
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This review is from: Chronicle (DVD)
I'm pretty sure that I've seen most if not all of the genre now called "found footage" films, going back the grandmother of them all "The Blair Witch Project." I've liked some and not others pretty much like any other film. One common thread is a theme of dread, relatively unknown actors and filmmakers, and low budget. Fine, no problem. Director Josh Trank throws a few wrinkles into the camera footage by not limiting the filming to just one camera. This iteration incorporates a friend's use of a camera (school reporter doncha know), hospital security cameras, helicopter cameras, etc. and then shows it edited together to get the movie.

Our 3 teenage "heroes" being a little tipsy coming from a party find a big hole in the ground and decide to slip into it and see what's what. Some alien remnants (I guess) are discovered that put out some intergalactic emission that gives the 3 boys supernatural powers. As they discover their powers, they begin to innocently play tricks on each other and eventually other people. As their use increases, so does their strength. As one points out, the gift is like a muscle. The more you use it the stronger it becomes. Eventually they do attain strength and even the ability to fly. In other words, Superman/boy without the costume.

One of the boys, Andrew (Dane DeHaan) has always been an outcast and socially shy. His mother is gravely ill with some undisclosed respiratory problem and his father is an out of work fireman who hits the bottle and his son. His cousin Matt (Alex Russell) is one of those cool kids but not in the athletic hierarchy. Finally there is Steve (Michael B. Jordan) who is at the peak of high school cool. An athlete, class president and on his way to a political career. Eventually, Andrew realizes by using his powers he too can become cool, but alas he stumbles when he tries to bed one of his classmates. He's never the same. He becomes violent and tragedy ensues.

Cousin Matt becomes the eventual voice of reason and tries to reel in Andrew. The film certainly has its moments. The interaction between the guys seems legit. Yet there is something not quite right about Andrew complete personality change. It's like Bruce Banner changing into The Hulk. The other two are not affected this way. Even at a crisp 84 minute running time, the final flying/destruction sequence seems to go on forever. And I couldn't help thinking; did we really need to use the "found footage" technique with this story?
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 15, 2012, 2:00:05 PM PDT
Charlie B. says:
Great review I totally agree with your last statments especially. The final scene was too much IMO and I think maybe 30 mins into the movie I was also like the found footage genre is not necessary.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2013, 5:12:47 AM PST
Actually, the godfather of the "found footage" genre (especially re the horror genre) is Ruggero Deodato's "Cannibal Holocaust" [1980]
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Review Details

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Reviewer

M. Oleson
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Fort Worth, TX USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 453