The film is about 3 teens who discover a hole in the woods with something mysterious inside, which gives them all super powers. It is set up like a found footage film, in the same way Cloverfield and Blair Witch were before it. As their powers grow, so do the perils they face.
The film is fun. The characters feel very real. We’re introduced to the man with the camera (and the film’s villain) Andrew at the start of the film, as he is being hounded by his drunken Dad. We then see Andrew’s very sick Mum, and are instantly informed how difficult life is for the awkward teen. We then meet another awkward teen in the form of Andrew’s cousin. He sings away to Jessie J’s Price Tag whilst driving them both to school. We see him later awkwardly try and psycho-analyse a barn party to impress a girl who shoots him down for his comments. These are clumsy every-day teens and this film expertly portrays them as such with these opening 10 minutes.
Their lives change when school presidential candidate enlists Andrew’s help to film something strange in the woods. He is a very friendly guy. They discover a hole with a strange crystal looking object which wouldn’t look out of place in a Superman film.
Power corrupts. Or at least it begins to, as we see the 3 guys experimenting with what they can do by moving cars, floating teddy bears to scare kids, and flying. They also use their powers to boost Andrew’s popularity during a school talent show with a magic act. But things take a turn for the worst when Andrew’s family life worsens and Andrew starts to use his power for more ruthless ends.
There is a great nod to Superman II in the films climactic battle, as Andrew hurls a bus at Matt, and the two destroy half the city in their smackdown.
The performances are all good. The effects are good for the most part, although there are the odd obvious green screens (like the shot towards the end of Matt in Tibet). The characters and how they respond to incredible events are really what sells the film though.
These kids don’t automatically rise to the occasion to become superheroes. Instead they spend most of their time playing and having fun, rather than accepting the great responsibilities with their great powers. It’s only when Andrew starts to use his powers out of anger, that encourages Matt to become the hero of the piece.
The only real problem with the film is that it is a found footage film. We’re meant to believe that whilst all the crazy events are happening, and whilst trying to fight each other, they kept their camera rolling. If it had been more of a District 9 type of film, where some is found footage, and the rest are interviews or reconstructions, then it may have been more credible. Other than this, it is a very fun film. Well worth catching now it has been released on Blu Ray and DVD.