I'll break this movie down into three parts.
ACTING/CAST - Effing perfect. Michael B. Jordan (before we all realized that this dude an absolute savage when it comes to his talent) steals every scene he is in, and his chemistry with Dane Dehaan and Alex Russell reminded me of the kids at my high school when they weren't shoving me into a locker. It's clear that Trank understands the dynamic that adolescents have with one another, and Max Landis knows how to write for them as well.
STORY/PLOT - With such a short runtime, things come at you fast. The creative ways that Landis and Trank find to involve the camera in everyday situations is incredibly clever and allows you to fully immerse yourself in the story. We are introduced to these characters and quickly shown their motivations and set off on their arcs. The finale/climax is earned, and honestly I'm not sure how Trank was able to pull off what he did with what I'm assuming is not a tentpole budget.
REWATCHABILITY - Don't get me wrong, what Trank was able to pull off here needs to be commended. He created strong relationships between the audience and his characters, but because or how morose everything in this movie is I'm unable to revisit it very often. I'm not saying at all that a movie has to be full of fairies and ponies for me to give it strong marks here, but when the main character is getting abused mentally and physically by his father in a third of his scenes, it's not exactly something I get jacked up to throw in the Blu Ray player.
All in all, on it's five year anniversary of release, I view Chronicle as a genre film that has aged well like Diane Lane or Hellen Mirren. I commend Josh Trank for doing something unique and taking a chance with this film. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go out into the woods and search for an alien artifact so I can get the badass powers displayed in this film.
i loved the way they expanded on the original premise. how they could eventually fly, and put a forcefield around themselves. i loved how in the beginning they were learning it, practicing, messing with people, etc. i also liked that the nerdy kid that everyone picks on is not the good guy but the villain. it makes you think that after all the psychological damage that he went through, when he finally had the power to do something about it, he used it for revenge, etc instead of good. as a smart uncle once said, with great power comes great responsibility.
Three high school students make an incredible discovery, leading to their developing uncanny powers beyond their understanding. As they learn to control their abilities and use them to their advantage, their lives start to spin out of control, and their darker sides begin to take over.
Josh Trank deserves a lot of praise for creating one of the best stories in the found footage genre, and one that will be memorable for years to come. The story here was so simple yet so perfectly executed, with so many simple moments that made for big moments. The story was lighthearted and fun, but it was completely dark and tragic at the same time. Very few movies can pull off a blend of that caliber and it should be recognized here.
The actors were my favorite part about this movie, bringing the script to life and making certain parts stand out even more. You can't teach chemistry and naturalism to actors, it's just something that has to come. Dane DeHaan was great as the lead, bringing this dark and intense emotion that accompanied a relatable character. Alex Russell was great as the guy who kind of kept things under control, and Michael B. Jordan was a fun and exhilarating supporting role. Everyone here had and still has bright futures in acting, and it was great to see them here.
The visuals were okay for the most part. In a movie with this low of a budget, I understand why some aspects were really limited visually. However, that doesn't stray from the fact that the ideas and concepts were all there, and the film would've been lost without some of them.
Like I said earlier, this is one of the best found footage movies I've ever seen. Actually, it's one of my favorites. It's so well done and it feels like a real found footage movie. They stray from soundtracks and other implausible found footage tropes that often ruin the gimmick, and this movie does a great job.
In the end, "Chronicle" is a fantastic found footage horror film and should last through the decades.