1. Ryan Gosling in The United States of Leland (2003) with Don Cheadle
2. Don Cheadle in Iron Man 2 (2010) with Clark Gregg
3. Clark Gregg in (500) Days of Summer (2009) with Minka Kelly
4. Minka Kelly in Friday Night Lights (2006-2011) with Michael B. Jordan
5. Michael B. Jordan in Chronicle (2012)
Chronicle is different than other found footage movies (The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, Paranormal Activity), but it is also very similar. It separates itself from its predecessors within the first minute. High school student Andrew Detmer (relative newcomer Dane DeHaan) is hiding from his abusive father in his room, and Andrew screams something to the effect of “I’m recording everything from now on.” With previous found footage entries, mostly horror movies, the audience is subjected to multiple lines of dialogue where the characters (or actors?) continually ask themselves why a camera is present. Chronicle owes its structure to the success of these other stories because audiences are so used to this type of film by now that a throw-away line like this at the beginning of Chronicle is sufficient enough to justify the rest of the movie.
Like I said, previous found footage movies have typically consisted of the horror variety, but Chroncile was just as suspenseful. It’s clear from the promos that young Andrew is headed toward the path of villainy, so I don’t feel like I’m spoiling anything with this. I jumped out of my seat multiple times because I was scared at what Andrew was going to do next. Chronicle isn’t constructed as a horror movie, but I think the genre of found footage movies lends itself to a sense of dread that is present throughout the entirety of the movie.
Can we talk about the flying scenes in this movie? Maybe its because I haven’t seen anything like this shot (or digitally created) before, but they are literally jaw-dropping and left me wondering how the hell the filmmakers pulled it off. Especially for its $12 million budget (source).
At the end of the movie, I was completely creeped out, but I walked out thinking that this feeling was a good thing. It could be because, at the end of the movie, characters are addressing Andrew directly to the camera (hey, hey, that’s MY name). And I couldn’t handle that. But director Josh Trank and the rest of the crew have created a truly affecting and unique movie that deserves all the success and acclaim it is receiving.