Studio: Davis Entertainment
MPAA Rating: PG 13
Director: Josh Trank
Review Rating: 7
After discovering a strange alien artifact in the woods, three boys gain superpowers and soon thereafter find their lives spiraling out of control.
The trailer advertised the movie in a rather Memento-style pacing, basically the catalyst of what gave them the superpowers was only
approached at towards the end of the movie. Sadly the film itself isn’t the case, but it is still rather fun to watch.
Things start off with depressed and repressed Andrew deciding to film everything after getting one of those heavy duty professional cameras. He and his cousin Matt, along with the popular and well-loved friend Steve, are typical male teenagers, wanting to go out and just have a good time.
Andrew is different, he thinks different, certainly acts differently, and did I mention his abusive family? In school Steve and Matt are jock types, known and liked by most, whereas Andrew is known as the oddball tagalong. But the playing field is quickly leveled when the boys, out at some party in the woods somewhere, discover what’s presented to the audience as a strange glowing crystalline formation, and develop superpowers. Things spiral rapidly out of control from that moment on, in no small part because Andrew is angry at everything, especially his life. It starts off innocently enough, the three boys being typical guys doing pranks on eachother, then on others, minor things that don’t cause any harm. Andrew gets more and more angry, snaps and sends a following car into a river, and the boys start arguing. Popular Steve makes a last-ditch effort to reign Andrew in, in a move that actually works out better than anyone would’ve thought – playing straight man to a TK routine hosted by Andrew at the high school’s talent show. The crowd eats it up, and for one glorious night Andrew is at the top of the world. It never lasts, and soon
enough, through at least some fault of Andrews’, the boys and all are attending Steve’s funeral. The end, because it’s no longer being filmed by Andrew, rather reminded me of Cloverfield, with the straight pan shots and CC tv camera shots from wherever you can get them, apparently fighting a monster large enough to ruin whole banks of downtown.
The “found footage” style of filming, thrown in with much better steady-cam shots, when Andrew develops his TK to literal hands-free filming, is an interesting mix. There is very little contiguous filming, most shots are jagged and jerk into the next one without warning, which isn’t for everyone. Somewhere in the midst of the movie, Matt meets up with his former love interest, who turns out to be a blogger and filmmaker as well. So when her video and POV shots are shown, they’re much more professional, and frankly, it is kind of like being given a break from the breathless shooting style of our protagonists. Later when Andrew gets better at his telekinesis, he lets the camera float free above his head in a circular motion, and that does seem to help a little. The way the “found footage” and other camera shots are pieced together do certainly tell a
story, but the distinctly different mannerisms of filming do make the movie a bit of a mish-mash of styles that can get irritating.