(M) Fox DVD/BD
This is one of a recent genre of what is known as “found footage” films, almost exclusively populated by horror.
Chronicle, like Cloverfield, follows the exploits of average teens who encounter a mysterious entity. Only this time the mysterious force endows them with super powers.
Other superhero films stress that “with great power comes great responsibility” but director Josh Trank believes this would be different if superpowers were bestowed on bullied and misunderstood teenagers.
The film’s trio of superpowered protagonists aren’t your average shallow teens. Andrew, Steve and Matt each have interesting interpersonal dynamics and the narrative explores both their newfound powers and friendships.
Offering plenty of entertaining and believable moments early on as they discover just what they can do, the film tries hard to make us like these guys.
The last third of the film delves into darker territory as they begin to experiment with their powers and don’t feel the need to use them for the good of the planet.
Top shelf special effects belie an indie budget; they are sparing and well done.
The film feels grounded in reality and, while the idea isn’t an original one, director Trank often makes the fantastical seem totally plausible, making its darker turn in the final stretch all the more troubling.