REVIEW: Chronicle

Over the years, the found-footage genre has consisted of horror films involving mostly monsters and demons with severe consequences, but Chronicle is something that takes you somewhere different to what we’ve seen before from the genre. It adds hilarious laughs and the troublesome behaviour of teenagers but also the vintage style of violence and horror as part of found-footage films. Understandably, the genre itself and the style of filming really aren’t to everyone’s taste it usually takes a lot for them to be successfully executed in order to feel the reality that they attempt to bring forth. Having said this, Chronicle really is a film that brings off a good start to 2012 and is both hilarious and terrifying to watch.

Unusually, many people misunderstand Chronicle for a superhero film because of the superpower references but as you watch it, it really is not one at all! For starters, none of the characters are super.. heroes, there’s no primary hero or villain as traditionally shown within the sub-genre and it’s more of a sci-fi drama than sci-fi action. Chronicleinitially defines the fun and adventurous side of gaining superpowers and consists of regular laugh-out-loud gags and jokes. However, at the same time it shows the severe deadly and violent consequences caused due to superpowers. So, the use of terror and violence is the frequent style used within found-footage films and although, it is added with teenage humour, it’s still successfully prevails.

A lot like the teenage trio in Kick-Ass, we are introduced to a new group of young actors, who are swept from their ordinary teenage lives at school into a world where their unorthodox fantasies become true. Dane DeHaan takes the leading role as Andrew Detmer. Andrew’s life is at breaking point as his mother is slowly dying from a cancer but his father is an alcoholic and regularly beats him. So, due to these circumstances, the telekinetic powers and the use of the camera, DeHaan provides a powerful performance as he adds both a nerdy nature, similar to Jesse Eisenberg, and a psychologically warped teenager. Australian actor Alex Russell delivers another great performance in his role as Andrew’s cousin, Matt. He’s perhaps the most sensible and perhaps known as the “good-guy” of the group, who is similar to Peter Parker.

Last but not least is the third youngster, Michael B. Jordan who gives a breakthrough performance as Steve Montgomery. Steve isn’t only the wackiest character of the three but he’s undoubtedly the funniest. However, perhaps the most vital character in the film that has a huge impact upon the film as a whole that isn’t really considered much. That character is the video camera itself that is being used. Just like most found-footage films, it’s unfortunate that even the camera is being pulled into the story, and Chronicle occasionally caused anxiety and tension for the camera.

So, with this in mind, it raises these questions – “why does filming continue? And how does the camera survive throughout circumstantial events?” The purpose of found-footage films is to add the reality of horror and science fiction to the screen in a format that we usually use in everyday life. This can become a vital miss for films made in this style, but although Chronicle does still suffer from lack of reality; there’s something very different from it. Director and co-creator of Chronicle, Josh Trank makes his feature film debut after previously making some episodes from The Kill Point. Trank still adds the vintage horror of found-footage but for the first time, there’s an unorthodox charm toChronicle that’s not only scary, intense and funny to watch, but is actually fun and exciting! Alongside Trank, screenwriter and other co-creator Max Landis pens the script and, like the direction, revolutionizes charm into found-footage genre for the first time with the highly intense scenes and the emotional chemistry between the characters.

Overall, Chronicle is a breakthrough in the found-footage genre that is highly recommended as a film for pure entertainment. There are many out there who aren’t entirely bound to the style of filming Chronicle has, but it ironically works very well. It provides aspects that prove found-footage films can become heaps of fun! If Chronicle is equivalent to anything, it’s riding an exhilarating rollercoaster ride.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 15/05/2012.

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