Chronicle is a film that came in entirely under my radar, but when I became aware of it I knew that it was something I had to see. And when the Book God and I couldn’t decide exactly what film to see one Sunday in February (he favoured The Muppets, I was holding out for The Woman in Black) we settled on this as a good compromise, and I’m so glad we did.

So, I’m going to try to set this up without giving away too much of the plot; three friends at high school make a discovery, something potentially alien but certainly out of the ordinary which has a real impact on them. Over the next few days, weeks and months they each begin to develop what can only be described as superpowers – telekinesis and the ability to fly being but two. And they’re teenage boys so of course they muck about quite a bit, and then something happens which makes them realise just how powerful they have become and they try to put some rules around their behaviour. But as their real lives start to intrude things get much, much darker…..

Somebody (I can’t find the reference, sorry) referred to this as “Superman: The Home Movie”, and although a bit flip I can see what they meant; this is a found footage movie in the tradition of Blair Witch and my absolute favourite, Cloverfield. The ever-present camera is explained pretty well at the outset and maintains its plausibility right up until the ending, which while satisfying in story terms did stretch the structure a bit for me. But that is a minor quibble in what was a really absorbing film about something many of us might have thought about in an idle moment: what would I do with superpowers if I had them?

Well, I’ve certainly wondered that…..

The young cast is largely unknown, Josh Trank is a first time director and I found the whole thing pretty impressive. Parts of the denouement reminded me of one of my other big favourites, The Fury, in terms of atmosphere at least. Some horror fans have wondered what the director might have been able to do if this had been an 18 certificate, and that could indeed have been interesting but I think it works very well as it stands.

Already added it to my must buy list.

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