Chronicle

PG-13 for teenage driving, surliness, the shrill and cliched warning that high school students cannot be trusted with motor vehicles and/or telekinesis

Release Date: February 3, 2012

 

It’s not hard to guess why found footage movies have taken off over the past 10 years, once The Blair Witch Project‘s fans had a chance to calm down, put on clean pants, and go write some screenplays.

They’re cheap to film. They’re creepy. They’re somehow both familiar and trendy. The “Hey, we just turned on a camera and let it roll” approach offers a tidy excuse for sloppy scripting. And the current generation of teenagers – which is to say, the current generation of horror moviegoers – expect an onscreen world to match their own daily experience, which consists mostly of watching reality television and filming each other with their cell phones (or, in wealthier suburbs, with their contact lenses).

And last but not least, they’re weirdly authentic. It makes no sense: If you think telekinetic teenagers are implausible, how does it make it more plausible that they would happen to film themselves during all the cool moments and plot twists? Where are we supposed to be finding this found footage, anyway? I’ll tell you what, I’ve inspected YouTube as much as the next guy, and while there’s some pretty awesome stuff, there are no nifty sci-fi horror stories just waiting for Fox to come along and distribute them as movies.

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