While Chronicle turned out to be a lot better than its dopey trailer suggested, I have to admit I liked it a lot better when it was called Carrie, had an R rating, and was directed by Brian De Palma. Stripped of its found footage approach and its modernized references to our society’s narcisstic view that one’s every move and thought is so endlessly fascinating as to be worthy of documenting, that’s what Chronicle comes down to. Even so, the film is streets ahead of the usual found footage rubbish. In fact, before it starts playing fast and loose with the found footage approach, it cleverly puts forth the idea of a chronic video shooter who knows what a tripod is and who can operate a camera without appearing to be suffering from the DTs. The idea here is that three high school kids — misfit Andrew (DAne DeHaan), his cousin Matt (Alex Russell), and popular kid Steve (Michael B. Jordan) — find a mysterious hole in the ground that they explore and that somehow gives them superpowers. The problem, if you can’t guess, is that Andrew, having spent years being overlooked, abused, and bullied, is not the best person to have super powers at his disposal. This is naturally enough going to lead to Carrie-esque trouble, despite his two friends’ best intentions, as he’s undermined by his father (Michael Kelly). Mayhem and tragedy ensue, and it’s generally pretty effective. I don’t exactly recommend the movie, but neither do I have anything much against it.
Director: Josh Trank
Writer: Max Landis
Producer: John Davis and Adam Schroeder
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Dane DeHaan, Michael Kelly, Ashley Hinshaw, Anna Wood, Alex Russell, Joe Vaz, Luke Tyler and Matthew Dylan Roberts