|Directed by||Josh Trank|
|Produced by||John Davis
|Screenplay by||Max Landis|
|Story by||Max Landis
|Editing by||Elliot Greenberg|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||83 minutes
(The Lost Footage edition)
Chronicle is a 2012 American science fiction drama-thriller film directed by Josh Trank in his directorial debut, and written by Max Landis based on a story by both. It follows three Seattle high school seniors, bullied Andrew, his cousin Matt and more popular Steve form a bond after gaining telekinetic abilities from an unknown object. They first use their abilities for mischief and personal gain until Andrew turns to darker purposes.
The film is visually presented as found footage filmed from the perspective of various video recording devices that Andrew primarily uses a hand-held camcorder to document the events of his life. Released in the United Kingdom and Ireland on February 1, 2012, and in the United States on February 3, 2012, it received a positive critical response and grossed $126 million worldwide.
Seattle teenager Andrew Detmer (Dane DeHaan) starts videotaping his life. His mother Karen (Bo Petersen) has cancer and his alcoholic father Richard (Michael Kelly) is verbally and physically abusive. At school, Andrew is frequently bullied; all these negative issues show Andrew's depression and lack of luck.
Andrew's cousin Matt (Alex Russell) invites him to a party to help him meet people, but Andrew's filming negatively attracts an attendee and Andrew leaves despondent. Andrew is persuaded by popular student Steve (Michael B. Jordan) to record something strange he and Matt have found in the woods: a hole in the ground emitting a loud strange noise. The three enter the hole and discover a large glowing blue crystalline object. The object soon glows red and the group is stricken by nosebleeds and pain, and the camera cuts out. Weeks later Andrew records himself, Matt, and Steve as they display telekinetic abilities, able to move objects with their minds, but bleeding from their noses when they overexert themselves. The trio develop a close friendship and begin employing their abilities to play pranks. However, after Andrew pushes a rude motorist off the road and into a river, Matt insists that they restrict the use of their powers, particularly against living creatures.
When they discover flight abilities, they agree to fly around the world together after graduation. Andrew wants to visit Tibet for the peaceful nature. Steve encourages Andrew to enter the school talent show to gain popularity. Andrew amazes his fellow students by disguising his powers as impressive feats. That night, Andrew, Matt and Steve celebrate at a house party, where Andrew is the center of attention. After drinking with his classmate Monica (Anna Wood), she and Andrew go upstairs to have sex, but Andrew vomits on Monica, humiliating himself.
Andrew becomes increasingly withdrawn and aggressive, culminating when his father Richard attacks him, and Andrew uses his power to overcome and defeat him. His outburst is so extreme that it inflicts psychically connected nosebleed warnings on Steve and Matt. Steve is drawn to Andrew, who is floating in the middle of a storm. Steve tries to console him, but Andrew grows increasingly frustrated, until Steve is suddenly struck by lightning and killed. At Steve's funeral, Matt confronts Andrew about the suspicious circumstances of Steve's death. Andrew denies responsibility to Matt, but he privately begs forgiveness at Steve's grave.
Andrew grows distant from Matt and again finds himself ostracized at school. When his mother's condition deteriorates, Andrew uses his powers to steal money for her medicine. After mugging a local gang, he robs a gas station where he accidentally causes an explosion that puts him in the hospital with burns and under police investigation. At his bedside, his father informs the unconscious Andrew that his mother has died, and he angrily blames Andrew for her death. As his father threatens to strike him, Andrew awakens and the outer wall of his hospital room explodes.
During a birthday party, Matt experiences an intense nose bleed and senses Andrew is in trouble. He goes to the hospital, finding Andrew floating outside the building. Andrew proceeds to wreak havoc with his powers. Matt confronts Andrew at the Space Needle and tries to reason with him, but Andrew grows aggressive and irrational at any attempt to control him, claiming to be an apex predator. Andrew attacks Matt and the pair fight across the city. Injured and enraged, Andrew uses his power to destroy the buildings around him, threatening thousands of lives. Unable to get through to Andrew, Matt tears a spear from a nearby statue and impales Andrew with it, killing him instantly. The police surround Matt, but he flies away.
Three months later, Matt lands in Tibet with Andrew’s camera. Speaking to the camera while addressing Andrew, Matt vows to use his powers for good and to find out what happened to them in the hole. Matt positions the camera to view a Tibetan monastery in the distance and says "You made it" before flying away, leaving the camera behind to continue recording the tranquil scene.
- Dane DeHaan as Andrew Detmer
- Alex Russell as Matt Garetty
- Michael B. Jordan as Steve Montgomery
- Michael Kelly as Richard Detmer
- Ashley Hinshaw as Casey Letter
- Anna Wood as Monica
- Bo Petersen as Karen Detmer
The screenplay is by Fear Itself writer Max Landis, from a story by Landis and Josh Trank. Trank also directed the feature. For budgetary reasons, Chronicle was shot primarily in Cape Town, South Africa with Film Afrika Worldwide, as well in Vancouver, Canada. Trank cited the films Akira, Carrie and The Fury as influences on Chronicle. Filming started in May 2011 and continued for eighteen weeks, ending in August 2011. Cinematographer Matthew Jensen used the Arri Alexa video camera to shoot the movie and Angenieux Optimo and Cook s4 lenses. Postproduction techniques were used to give it a "found footage" look. A cable cam rig was used for a shot in which the character Andrew levitated his camera 120 feet into the air. The Arri Alexa camera was mounted on a skateboard to simulate Andrew's camera sliding across a floor. Stuntmen were suspended from crane wire rigs for flying scenes, with green screen special effects used for closeups of the actors. Andrew's video camera in the movie was a Canon XL1 MiniDV and later he switched to a HD camera that resembles a Canon Vixia HF M30. His "Seattle" bedroom was actually a set constructed on a film studio stage in Cape Town. Because in South Africa, vehicles drive on the left side and have steering wheels on the right side, American style vehicles had to be shipped in for the production. DVD dailies were provided to the director and cinematographer by the Cape Town firm HD Hub.
Chronicle opened in 2,907 theaters in the United States and Canada on February 3, 2012. Box office watchers expected the film to gross $15 million for its opening weekend, the Super Bowl weekend, while Fox projected to receive around 8 million. However, by its first day the film had already earned an estimated $8.65 million and finished the weekend as the top film with $22,000,000 surpassing The Woman in Black ($21,000,000) and The Grey ($9.5 million). Next to an estimated production budget of $12 million, it was an unexpected financial success as the film became the fourth highest Super Bowl debut. Chronicle also opened as a number one hit internationally, opening in 33 foreign markets such as Australia, China, and the United Kingdom where it earned the most with $3.5 million.
Overall, the film grossed $64,314,970 in the United States and Canada, and $58,800,000 in other territories, for a worldwide total of $123,114,970.
Chronicle has received mostly positive reviews. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 85% based on reviews from 165 critics, with an average score of 7.1/10, with the site's consensus stating: "It arrives during a glut of found-footage films, but Chronicle transcends its gimmicks with a smart script, fast-paced direction, and engaging performances from its young, talented cast."  At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received a score of 69/100, based on 31 reviews, which indicates "Generally favorable reviews".
Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film a positive review, saying "From [the] deceptively ordinary beginning, Josh Trank's Chronicle grows into an uncommonly entertaining movie that involves elements of a superhero origin story, a science-fiction fantasy and a drama about a disturbed teenager," giving the film 3.5 stars out of 4. Empire critic Mark Dinning gave the film 4 stars out of 5, saying the film was "A stunning superhero/sci-fi that has appeared out of nowhere to demand your immediate attention." Total Film gave the film a five-star review (denoting 'outstanding'): "Believable then bad-ass, it isn't wholly original but it does brim with emotion, imagination and modern implication."
On the negative side, Andrew Schenker of Slant Magazine gave the film 2 out of 4 stars, saying the film, "offers up little more than a tired morality play about the dangers of power, rehashing stale insights about the narcissism of the documentary impulse."
Chronicle was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on May 15, 2012. The film was released on DVD and a special "Lost Footage" edition for Blu-ray, which contains additional footage that was not shown in theaters, notably a scene after Andrew overpowers his father, where Matt and Casey have had sex, as well as a scene where Andrew returns to the cave entrance, around which the grass has formed a swirling pattern around the hole, a scene where Andrew's father leaves the house after they have run out of medication money, and a scene where a SWAT team opens fire on Andrew as he blocks the bullets.
|2012||Chronicle||Golden Trailer Award for Best Most Original Trailer||Won|
|Golden Trailer Award for Best in Show||Nominated|
|2013||Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film||Nominated|
Fox hired Max Landis to write a sequel. Whether director Josh Trank would return was unclear. The Hollywood Reporter gave a brief one-line mention in its March 23, 2012 issue that a sequel was in development. However, it was later reported that Fox was not happy with the script. On April 10, 2013, Landis told IGN that Fox did like the script and they're moving along with it; Landis also said that the sequel would be darker in tone. On July 17, 2013, Landis revealed on his Twitter account that he and Trank are no longer working on the sequel and new writers have taken over to write the film.
- "Chronicle". British Board of Film Classification. January 24, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2012. "83m 20s"
- Ashby, Devon (May 23, 2012). "Blu-Ray Review: Chronicle: The Lost Footage Edition". CraveOnline. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
- "'Chronicle': Like 'Paranormal Activity,' but with superpowers?". Los Angeles Times. 2011-10-21. Retrieved 2011-10-22.
- "Chronicle (2012)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- Holben, Jay (March 2012). "Power Trip". American Cinematographer (Hollywood, California: ASC Holding Corp.). Pages 42–46, 47–49. Interview with cinematographer Matthew Jensen. Includes 8 production photos, 11 photos total.
- "Cape Town stars as the location for US box office smash hits". filmcontact.com. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
- Woerner, Meredith (February 2, 2012). "Chronicle captures every teen’s fantasy of fighting back, say film’s creators". io9. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- "Cape the big star as US film crew rolls in". filmcontact.com. 15 May 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
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- Joshua L. Weinstein (February 4, 2012). "'Chronicle,' 'Woman in Black' Shatter Box Office Expectations on Friday". The Wrap. Reuters. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
- "Box Office: 'Chronicle' soars on Super Bowl weekend [Updated]". Los Angeles Times. February 5, 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
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- "Chronicle". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
- Ebert, Roger (February 1, 2012). "Chronicle review". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Dinning, Mark. "Empire's Chronicle Movie Review". Empire. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- "Chronicle Review". Total Film. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- Schenker, Andrew (February 1, 2012). "Chronicle Film Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Trumbore, Dave (2013). "Writer Max Landis Talks CHRONICLE 2 Featuring the World’s First Super-Villain; Comments on Possibility of Josh Trank Directing the Sequel". Collider.
- Brooks, Brian (March 7, 2012), Max Landis Set To Write ‘Chronicle 2′ For Fox, retrieved May 15, 2012
- The Hollywood Reporter (Los Angeles, California: Prometheus Global Media, LLC). March 23, 2012.
- Fox Isn't Happy With 'Chronicle' Sequel Script, John Landis Says, MTV (October 11, 2012).
- Max Landis Says Chronicle 2 Will be "Really Dark"
- Nicholson, Max (August 12, 2013). "Max Landis on His Now-Dead Chronicle 2 Script". IGN.
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