This whole “Found Footage” format of filmmaking is refreshing, each and every time it comes about. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT kicked ass with it. CLOVERFIELD made a good attempt at the sci-fi with it. And more recently… PARANORMAL ACTIVITY re-did the horror genre with it. However with CHRONICLE, we see an awesome take on the superhero genre with the Found Footage concept.For those that don’t know what I mean by ‘Found Footage’, and still didn’t piece it together with the above mentioned movies… it’s where the entire film is shot from the perspective of the characters, usually with handheld cameras within the story, and we the audience, see the events unfold though the footage that the characters themselves are filming.
CHRONICLE is the story of 3 high school students, who come across an object, which gives them all Telekinetic powers. The story follows them around as these common powers create bonds between these 3 boys, gives them a new perspective, and essentially changes their lives.
CHRONICLE at first glance seems like a high school thriller genre; similar to some horror genres we’ve seen. But what the movie ends up being at its core is a Superhero Origins story. Think about it.
3 unassuming characters brought together by a common incident, enabling them all to be infused with brand new, almost God-like powers. Their friendship grows beyond measure, having a secret they all share. However, diverging views and philosophies cause them to turn on each other, drawing lines between how to use these powers and what defines good and evil, all the while dealing with the corruption of power itself. –Mind. Blown!
Besides being shot in the ‘found footage’ format… what’s really interesting, is the concept of Telekinetics that is put forth in the movie. Sure we’ve all read the comics and other stories with this power, however CHRONICLE puts a fresh spin on it with the ways it can be applied, unused thus far in Comics, surprisingly.
The performances are pretty, shocking, given the low budget and almost obscure movie that this is. The three boys do pretty well in their respective roles. The breakout has to be Dane DeHaan playing the troubled boy who’s capturing the whole story on film, He steals the entire show as a complex and complicated young boy, basically an emo li’l bitch who gets these powers, but it still doesn’t take away all of his personal problems, despite changing his life. It’s textbook Comic Book character profiles, but surprising to see on film, in a movie such as this.
The best thing about CHRONICLE is again, how it’s made. The way in which it’s shot is extremely creative. It gives all the CGI and Special Effects a sense of realism and shock. We experienced something similar with Pete Berg’s HANCOCK, but the shaky camera movement, the un framed shots makes the more, super powered scenes of CHRONICLE that much more exciting to experience.
Ultimately, CHRONICLE even goes a step further to amalgamate the found footage concept, by deriving footage from the various cell phone cameras, security cameras. Thereby eliminating one major complaint of this type of movies: “Why is he holding on to a camera as he’s about to DIE?!”
CHRONICLE is awesome. Plain and Simply. Not only is the concept pretty cool, but even the story and writing work brilliantly. The innovative uses for Telekinesis and the progression of the main character’s transformation from loner, to popular to eventual villain… amazing.