|Telekinetic powers allow hands-free videography helping you get those real cool shots you want.|
Chronicle, like Cloverfield, is a successful faux-found-footage genre twist. You know, those movies that take on a tired genre and give it new realistic life by making it look like something that was roughly shot on a character-within-the-story's video camera. Though, like a lot of movies from this new movement, you are forced to suspend your disbelief that the average environment they visit has perfect lighting and audible sound, that the battery is lasting through all this time, and that someone is managing to capture all the important events inherent to the story, no matter how impossible or terrifying the situation may be.
This movie still does all the right stuff. No stars. No music score. High quality special effects.
A trio of high school guys in the Seattle area, one of whom is a video-camera totting social reject, encounter a strange environment deep within a cave in the forest at night. They awake the following morning to realize they've all been gifted with superpowers. They choose to document themselves as they experiment with these powers in a way that kind of resembles Jackass videos. It slowly develops into a dark tragedy about the documentarian character whose tortured, lonely, and bullied life turns out to be a bad combination with telekinetic powers. I was reminded of Tetsuo in Akira.
As I say, the benefit to this movie movement is that familiar stories we've seen in films before are being retold but stripped of their cinematic stylization. In many cases, such as this one, they are big-budget movies in the disguise of a movie with no budget at all. Chronicle is a very good example of when this approach works pretty well. It's not really rising above it's B-movie plot. It's just refreshing it.
Check out Mike and Jay's review: