Director: Josh Trank
Writer: Max Landis
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan
This film follows a loser in high school, who is played by Dane DeHaan. He is a loner and he buys a camera to document everything in his life. We see that his father is an alcoholic who tries to come in his room, he is angry and we learn he used to be a firefighter; his father is played by Michael Kelly. DeHaan’s mother has cancer, she isn’t doing too well and they don’t have money for the medication to help her.
DeHaan’s cousin drives him to school, he is played Alex Russell. They kind of hang out, but DeHaan is difficult to be around since he is defensive and can get aggressive about it. Russell also doesn’t apply himself either.
One night, Russell invites DeHaan to a party. It is out at an abandoned place where they have a rave. DeHaan gets punched for filming a guy’s girlfriend and he goes outside to cry about being punched. While outside, he is approached by one of the most popular guys in school, played by Michael B. Jordan, who tells him that Russell, he and some others found something and they want to get it on camera.
There is a hole in the ground. Russell is the only one still there and they go inside. There is this weird glowing thing that they touch. The camera goes out and next we see that each of them has telekinetic powers. They begin to use them and get stronger as they do. DeHaan knocks a guy off the road with his and Russell lays down rules for it.
Jordan convinces DeHaan to use his powers in the talent show and when he does everyone loves him. He throws up on a girl and his fall is just as fast. DeHaan becomes enraged and being the strongest of the group, he changes into what he calls the ‘apex predator’. Will he realize he’s too strong before it’s too late? Can anyone stop him?
This film was surprisingly good. It is filmed documentary style, but they do a lot of different things with the camera, which I really liked. By doing that, it didn’t really bother me.
What I really liked about this film was seeing the different things they do with their powers at first and how they progressively get stronger. What I like is that DeHaan from the beginning has the most promise, but he also isn’t the first to do everything. He is the one who does have the most control over his abilities from the beginning. With that said though, he is also the one that begins to use them for the wrong reasons. It is hard to blame him though. He has been bullied most of his life, so when you finally become the stronger one, it is hard to not take advantage of it.
I am adding this to the horror film research, because this is like a watered down version of Carrie, with just a male lead. This would be like if she gained her powers through some alien type of thing and then had more than just a couple of nights to work on them. It actually makes me wonder if Carrie would have survived her ordeal, would she have been able to do what these guys are able to in the end as well. This one isn’t really scary, but it does have some elements of horror films in it.
I would recommend giving this one a viewing. The acting is believable and the story is pretty solid. It isn’t overly complex, but for a film like this and what they do, it doesn’t need to be. It is a bit slow at the beginning, but it moves steadily from there. Definitely should see this one.
My Rating: 7 out of 10