By Edward Davis | The Playlist October 19, 2011 at 8:31AM
These days, anytime a trailer crackles with the lo-fi sound of a faux-found footage doc, a cinematic angel loses its wings. However, this first look at "Chronicle," a low-budget sci-fi film that 20th Century Fox is putting out next year, is admittedly fairly engrossing.
Written by Max Landis (son of John Landis) and directed by Josh Trank (the editor on "Big Fan" and a TV director on "The Kill Point"), "Chronicle" is a drama/horror sci-fi-ish film about three friends who gain superpowers from a mysterious substance and then turn on one another when personal problems arise (don't confuse this project with the indie-picture of the same name starring Ryan Phillippe and John Hawkes; surely that name will now change).
Starring Dane DeHaan ("The Wettest County in the World," "The Place Behind The Pines"), Michael B. Jordan ("The Wire," "Red Tails") and Alex Russell as the three pals, plus Ashley Hinshaw, Anna Wood and Michael Kelly, at first it feels like your run of the mill found-footage/documentary self-shot studio picture -- think "The Paranormal Activity" films: no-budget pictures with strong commercial returns, but almost zero creative value -- but as it progresses it seems to take an interesting and dark turn when the teens powers grow out of control and their personal issues start to flare up.
Due in theaters on February 3, 2012, we're not saying it's about to revolutionize the YouTube-y/we-shot-it-ourselves genre, but as these trailers go, the fact that it doesn't sicken us actually kind of says something. There's a nice mysterious vibe at the end of the trailer too. How far do their powers spiral out of control? How powerful do they get? Hey, it could be as bad as "Apollo 18," but considering the heights of this genre so far, the only place to go is up. Cautiously looking forward to more footage from this. Trailer below.
Trank is also known for "'Stabbing at Leia's 22nd Birthday" an amusing "Star-Wars"-influenced clip that went viral earlier this year. Watch it below.