Among the many tentpole films coming out in 2012, this little film, made on a shoestring budget of US15 million, is punching way above its weight, and in my opinion, delivering quite the fight.
Chronicle tells the tale of 3 teenagers, whose bond is strengthened when they develop powers of telekinesis after literally exploring a hole in the ground.
The 3 teenagers are Andrew, the primary cameraman, who’s abused by his alcoholic father at home, and bullied by his peers at school; his more socially adjusted cousin Matt; and Steve, the athletic all-round nice guy running for school President.
As they explore their new found powers, they try out schoolboy pranks like levitating bears to scare little girls, and move cars from the parking lot to a different space. But as their powers develop, and they find themselves handling much trickier maneuvers with ease, who’s to say its right or wrong to teach a school bully or a tail-gater a thing or two about messing with the wrong people?
As the situations escalate and Andrew becomes more and more unhinged, its up to his friends to try and undo his damage.
What’s interesting about the film, is that it explores the very different outcomes the same power results in 3 people with a very different upbringing. It almost seems as if it were both the origin story of a hero and a villain.
The action is mostly captured with Andrew’s camera, but as the action steps up, we also see the action from other camera vantage points such as security cams, police cams and even news crew footage.
While the entire film is based on “found footage”, for those prone to headaches due to the shaky cam nature of such films (think Cloverfield), rest assured that the shakiness is kept to a minimum due to Andrew’s advanced filming “technique”.
With this film, Director Josh Trank has cracked the found footage genre wide open, and provided other filmmaker/writers to work the found footage style onto genres other than horror.
A bird, a plane, 3 flying men!
As part of the viral campaign to raise awareness of the film, the marketing team took to the skies, creating 3 remote controlled planes shaped like men, and flew them over NYC and Liberty Island.
Awesome, cool stuff!