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Released: 1st February 2012 (UK)

Director: Josh Trank

Stars: Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordon

Certificate: 12A

Reviewer: Ben Harris

The found footage genre become a popular craze after the 1999 release of the horror film ‘The Blair Witch Project’. With the sense of realism from its shaky exterior this style of filmmaking started as an innovative idea but lately has become a tedious approach when constructing a movie, which is mainly seen with horror films.

‘Chronicle’, however, takes up the challenge to tackle the action/sci-fi genre. It follows three high school friends who come in contact with radiation from an unknown object. Soon after they discover they have powers. The beginning of their revelation is harmless fun but once they become stronger a darker side of them threatens their existents.

‘Chronicle’, in some ways, breaks new ground when it comes to found footage camerawork. Usually there is always someone behind the camera but with the plot element of super powers this piece of machinery can independently follow our characters. Director Josh Trank, making his feature film debut, ensembles some brilliant shots especially when the character of Andrew (Dane DeHann) is experimenting with his powers towards his newly purchased equipment. Not only does it show footage from our leading protagonist but also the supporting cast and CCTV. A great way of showing different perspectives when there are multiple people interacting.

It’s not just the superpower aspect that makes it an interesting watch but the characters themselves. ‘Chronicle’ takes time in establishing and developing them and doesn’t rush into the greed of power. The three leads (Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell and Michael Jordan) are fairly unknown but all deliver a natural and strong performance. DeHaan really stands out from the crowd as a troubled and lonely Andrew. His background involves social issues and a violent father but the progression in his character is dramatic and really pushes the story forward at a good pace.

As the film moves forward the more digital imagery is used. For a low budget film the special effects are pretty impressive and there are countless “cool” moments to be had. The CGI is slightly over used in a chaotic confrontation towards the end and this encounter goes on a bit too long.

Apart from that, with its clever script and exciting direction ‘Chronicle’ is an excellent achievement and has brought new life to an unimaginative genre.

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