Review: Chronicle (2012)

There is NO WAY to fake found footage. How does nobody see that?

Faux-veritée occupies a particularly nauseating place in cinema, alongside sequences involving hackers and bands writing songs together: it’s either done totally right (and rarely at that), or it’s completely wrong, fake, gross, even cynical. That small percentage that gets it right is, more often than not, a perfect storm of direction, script, acting and production care. The rest of the time: it’s cluelessness “masked” in VFX (which, I’m sorry, there is NO WAY to fake found footage. How does nobody see that?).

Like ‘Cloverfield’, ‘Chronicle’ uses the found footage conceit as a device to inject some “edge” or whatever into its sci-fi. Unfortunately, both also involve bad acting and a bad script. The difference: the acting and dialogue in ‘Chronicle’ are so much worse that I couldn’t even get through it. I stuck it out until the kids begin to discover their new powers, by which point I felt like I knew where it was going, narratively if not aesthetically (I’ve seen better VFX on Vine). If I’d liked the characters more, or cared (or believed) how they got there, I might have stuck around longer to maybe be proven wrong.

On the upside: this movie did introduce me to screenwriter Max Landis – specifically, his youtube channel. You may not like his style (or his writing), but I find his insights on writing entertaining (and I agree with him 100% about Rey).