Genre: Found Footage/Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Premise: Three teens explore a mysterious hole in the ground, and walk away with unexplainable bloody noses and telekinetic powers, all while filming their exploits. Those super powers ultimately separate the good from the bad, corrupting some but not others.
Behind-the-Scenes: Fox was so impressed with first-time director Josh Trank that they offered him the reins to the upcoming reboot of Fantastic Four. Screenwriter Max Landis is the son of John Landis (Three Amigos, The Blues Brothers).
The Good: The found footage genre is starting to get a little old by now, but some of the visuals here seem fresh and inspired. Surprisingly decent effects given the low budget. The movie works best when the boys first start playing around with their powers, pulling You Tube-style pranks on the public. Offers a novel take on the superhero flick.
The Bad: The script is a big letdown. Wastes a lot of time early on with typically obnoxious patter, common for the found footage genre. When the plot kicks in, and the kids start abusing their powers, the movie rushes unnecessarily to its forced conclusion. The transition of the main character, Andrew (Dane DeHaan), from misunderstood geek to evil villain is sloppy. More time needed to be spent on the growing divergence in viewpoints between the boys as to how their powers should be used, not unlike how the fractured relationship between Magneto and Xavier was handled in X-Men: First Class. Scenes are awkwardly cut together - Trank could have spent a few more weeks in the editing bay. There is a better movie to be made out of this premise than what we get here.
Should You See It?: Wait for DVD if you're a fan of homegrown superhero movies, like Unbreakable and Kick-Ass (though it's nowhere near as good as either of those), otherwise you can skip it.
Rating: **1/2 out of 5 stars.