I have always thought that human beings do not handle power so well. Those least likely to be able to handle an increase in power are teenagers. They already have to deal with that influx of hormones and bad skin, etc. Their hands are already full and they are…well…basically…unstable. So you can imagine that if teenagers were to get some superhuman powers it would all go to pot. So that is the premise behind this film. An interesting one we can all agree, right? So let’s see how it goes…
Some teenagers are not having the time of their lives. Andrew (Dane DeHaan – Lawless) buys a video camera. He decides he is going to film everything that is going on in his life. His mom (Bo Peterson) is sick and dying and his dad (Michael Kelly – Changeling, The Adjustment Bureau) drinks too much. As a result, Andrew is bullied at home and gets beaten at home.
Trying to get Andrew out socializing, his cousin Matt (Alex Russell) convinces him to go to a rave one night. They meet a girl there named Casey (Ashley Hinshaw – LOL), who is also doing some filming for a blog. After getting into a scuffle inside with a guy who thinks Andrew is filming his girlfriend, Andrew goes outside. A guy from his school named Steve (Michael B. Jordan – Red Tails, Hard Ball) asks Andrew to come and film something he and Matt found outside in the woods. It is a weird hole in the ground. Noises are coming out of it. Matt goes into the hole and the others follow him. There they find a weird glowing thing.
A few days later they are doing crazy Jackass style things for the camera. Andrew, Matt and Steve discover they can move or stop things with their minds. As time goes on they find they can do more and more with their telekinesis powers. They slowly begin to bring out their powers in the open. Andrew gets carried away and runs a car off the road. Matt and Steve are mad at him.
Suddenly, one incredible thing after another starts happening. Matt and Casey start dating. After discovering that they can also fly, Andrew starts getting out of control. He is getting angry all the time. Killing spiders in his room with his powers. Matt’s nose starts bleeding all the time. Andrew becomes completely unhinged and Steve ends up dead. Now he is totally off his rocker and starts robbing people to get money to pay for his mother’s medication. He gets injured while holding up a convenience store.
While in the hospital Andrew’s father comes to see him. He tells Andrew his mother died while he was out looking for Andrew. Andrew’s father blames him for his mother’s death. He now completely loses it and all hell breaks loose.
At this point I’m kind of all done with the handheld found footage, pseudo documentary style film a la The Blair Witch Project. So when it was unveiled to me that this was going to be that type of film I sighed and rolled my eyes. Quickly though I changed my tune and decided that the style was not a cheap ploy. Rather it suited the film. Though I thought to myself several times during the film that the camera would have either been off or been destroyed. Though my groans as a result of this were fairly minimal.
What I did like is that the story was like a more realistic superhero type film. This is what humans would really be like if we got super powers. We wouldn’t all do good. We wouldn’t all be able to handle it. We wouldn’t all fight evil. Some of us would do silly things. Some would be bad. More realistic. Darker. I like that it wasn’t all sunshine and flowers. Makes it more compelling in my book. The clichés of superhero films are all gone out the window.
The story is fairly predictable and the acting is not Oscar-worthy, but the special effects and things the three teens can do with their minds are super cool. And that is my official opinion.