Given the runaway success of the Misfits series on E4 (and with plans for a US remake), there was always going to be a film that came along with a similiar aesthetic.
Luckily Chronicle combines the best parts of this sort of sub-genre (teenagers with superpowers) minus a bit of the humour, and creates a fascinating feature.
Usually sci-fi can sometimes suffer with a lack of pacing, but Chronicle after setting up our main protagonists (and antagonist), jumps right into their world and doesn’t let you out. Firstly we have Andrew, a shy boy whose mother is dying, and father a drunk and beats him up. He is befriended by his cousin Matt (his only friend).
While a typical high school party near some woods they team up with class president to-be Steven, and discover a strange meteor deep in the ground. From here the boys all develop the ability of telekinesis; and thus sets about their journey.
What they discover is that like most things, practice makes perfect, and the more they practice their new found abilities the stronger they get. From here though it takes a darker tone, as one of the boys decides he can use his power to write some wrongs in his own life.
The effects are breath-taking at times, and the character development is superb as all three are fleshed out so that you can really feel admiration or hate for them depending on their actions. This is a credit to screenwriter Max Landis (son of John, he of American Werewolf in London), as the plot becomes much more than teenagers with superpowers, but there is the added burden of throes of high school to deal with too. It’s a very multi-layered script.
Added to this, that we see a lot of it through Andrew’s camera, as he decides to document his life, and then later on through the eyes of others and CCTV footage. It’s a whole new type of voyeurism, which gives it a fresh feel.
The only minor negative was the ending seemed a little rushed, but the rest was extremely cativating.