Andrew is a bit of an outcast. One day he starts filming as much of his life as he can, not for any reason in particular, just because he’s a weird kid. His mother is on her death bed, his father is an abusive alcoholic and he is constantly picked on at school. So life isn’t going that great. His only friend is his cousin Matt who tries to get him to be more outgoing and try new things. Matt talks Andrew into going to a big party where lots of kids from their school will be. While there, Matt and one of the popular kids and possible class President, Steve, discover a cave in the woods that descends into the ground. Andrew tags along to film the action. They discover a large glowing object that gives them telekinetic power. Now they must try to live their normal lives while hiding their superhuman abilities. It’s like a Cloverfield/X-Men hybrid. The found footage aspect starts getting hard to believe by the end but its so action packed you easily suspend disbelief.
The cast of relative unknowns is a classic Blair Witch type strategy. With no big name actors, the handheld found footage style is much more believable. Dane DeHaan stars as Andrew. You honestly feel bad for how crappy this kid has it. Terrible home life and constant bullying at school. He is on the verge of snapping through most of the movie. Gaining these powers could mean bad news. Alex Russell plays Matt. He knows his cousin is a weirdo but is caring enough to include him whenever he can. He tries to bump up his social standing by association but Andrew is just too odd to fit in. Michael B. Jordan plays Steve. Once Steve gains these powers, he starts hanging out with Andrew and Matt at all times and people question this choice. But the three have a bond together and a secret that they agree to keep. The bulk of the movie is them learning how far they can go with their powers and finding out they get stronger as they use it. What starts with controlling a baseball in the air turns into flying through the clouds. Andrew seems to be the strongest of the bunch.
It starts getting a bit old, just watching them move stuff with their minds for an hour. But the ending more than makes up for it. It becomes an all out action flick with some amazing visuals for the final 20 minutes. But here is where the found footage aspect becomes unbelievable. Andrew’s camera isn’t the only one we get to see. Any camera held by anyone in the movie is shown. A found footage styled movie would not have all this spliced together. Blair Witch was one camera, Cloverfield was one camera and they stuck with it. This one goes a little too far and even uses random people’s iPhones as part of the movie. And at one point I didn’t know who was supposed to be filming. It was a cheap gimmick to get different angles in big scenes. It got a little out of hand. But the end is so insane that you might not even notice. It becomes a superhero movie. Good vs. Bad. And clocking in at a short 83 minutes doesn’t hurt either. Before you can get tired of it, they blow you away and then end it. Definitely a unique idea for a found footage movie and a lot of fun. Writer Max Landis, son of famous director John Landis, has a hit on his hands. First time feature director John Trank has done very well with the material. Just short of being MADE though.