Saturday, June 2, 2012
Holy fucking shit. Wow. I've seen a lot of movies, and not many of them get this reaction from me, trust me. I've been reading comic books all my life, from the time when I was a weak little kid who was abused and picked-on and would have loved to have super powers so I could get revenge on all those who'd hurt me (great reason to want super powers, right? And one of the best arguments AGAINST giving super powers to human beings...we're too selfish and too easily corrupted by power, methinks). So I grew up (eventually...it took awhile) and while I've mostly stopped reading comic books, I'm still attracted to their stories and all the reasons why I loved them in the first place, but I'm especially attracted to ones that explore the idea of what it would be like for an ordinary, flawed, fallible human being to obtain super powers. What would happen? Good things? Bad things? Probably a mix of both.
This movie follows an outcast teen (Andrew) who carries a camera around to chronicle the events of his life, and he really only has one friend, his cousin Matt, and one night they go to a party with other teenagers, thus commencing a night of drinking and carousing (from the other teens, since our cameraman mostly hangs around in the shadows watching other people have fun). Late that night, Matt and his friend, Steve, stumble on something in the woods outside the barn that hosts the party, and they convince Andrew to come along with them and film this "cool thing" they have found. The "cool thing," of course, is a mysterious source of some kind of energy that, being teenagers, they get too close to and fool around with until the screen goes blank, and when we pick up with our three friends it is a few weeks later and they have discovered that the mysterious energy source they found has somehow granted them supernatural powers.
The rest of the movie follows the three leads as they discover what they can do with their newfound abilities, and if there's one thing I love most about this movie, it gives us a chance to get to know these characters as their abilities grow, instead of just jumping right into big plot events without giving us a chance to get to know or care about the main characters. The movie shows a progression from "cool, look what I can do!" to "hey, I'm getting stronger and stronger!" to "maybe I'm getting out of control here.." and the transformation is riveting. Not only that, the movie actually tries to give a plausible reason for the main characters to be carrying around a camera to document all that's happening to them, and I appreciated that. I also think this movie is sufficiently creepy that it definitely explores the horror of the situation where irresponsible and immature people, kids still, really, suddenly find themselves in possession of powers that could easily grow beyond their control. I was glued to the screen from start to finish, and this one is definitely recommended.