Ever since The Blair Witch Project defined the ‘found footage’ genre, it has relied on the omnipresent ‘amateur’ handheld wobble. Sometimes it works, and other times it just induces vomit.
I tip my hat mightily to the filmmakers of Chronicle for solving this particular convention by granting its camera-wielding protagonist the ability to pan, gib, crane and dolly the camera all with the power of his mind. Thank you, and congratulations.
In a lot of ways, this is reminiscent of the other ‘found footage’ film of 2012, Project X; the geek protagonist, their quest for cool, and inability to control what they create – standard ‘coming of age’ story fare, for sure, but both movies do this in style. And together they almost feel like they might strike that chord with today’s teens in the way that Ferris Bueller and Big did my generation.
It’s hard not to like Chronicle; each of the leads feel rounded and genuine enough to inspire empathy, and throughout you’ll really will for them all to get the girls, grades and gratitude they crave, but it soon becomes clear that this ain’t gonna happen.
There’s nothing life changing here: it’s a total boy’s movie, with occasional moments of proper smart, but I really enjoyed it as the audience and as a filmmaker, and so, in spite of myself, I actually kinda rate it.
WHAT I’VE LEARNT
WHEN TO WATCH
WHEN NOT TO WATCH