Chronicle: Extended Edition

Troubled teen gets superpowers and a camcorder. What could possibly go wrong?

These days it’s practically impossible to pay a visit to the cinema without being confronted by yet another superhero flick. Practically every Hollywood studio is getting in on the act now, with things only likely to get even more crowded now that Avengers Assemble has made about a gazillion dollars at the box office.

Thanks heavens then for Chronicle, a smart new take on the concept that mixes super-powered teens and the ‘found footage’ genre (think Blair Witch… meets Misfits). Only here, what starts off as a simple tale of teen empowerment made possible by mysterious telekinetic abilities soon escalates into something much darker, building towards a super-powered showdown that wouldn’t look out of place in a $150million blockbuster, but was somehow done in a film that only cost $12million in total. Great stuff.

Picture: Chronicle’s AVC 1.85:1 1080p encode is a bit of a game of two halves. To begin with the film’s protagonist shoots everything with a standard-definition camera. But after ‘the incident’ he switches to a more expensive hi-def setup (although the movie was actually shot on much more expensive professional kit).

Naturally, the Blu-ray image quality takes a sizeable jump at the same time, offering up plenty of fine detailing and strong colour reproduction. And, if it’s still not exactly top-tier HD video, it still looks much better than you’d expect from a ‘handycam’ flick like this.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: Like Cloverfield before it, Chronicle might go out of its way to convince you that it’s all been filmed using consumer cameras, but there’s no getting away from the fact that the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio always sounds like it belongs to a traditional Tinseltown production.

Things may start off pretty restrained, but as soon as the trio start experimenting with their powers things step up a gear. The aircraft flyby in Chapter 11 blasts across the soundstage with vigour, while the action-packed showdown in Chapters 21 and 22 offers a tour de force of dynamic surround effects and high-impact sonic thrills. Better than you might have expected.
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: A first-time film director like Josh Trank should have quite a bit to say about making his debut movie, right? Apparently not. Apart from the ability to choose between watching the 84-minute theatrical cut and 90-minute extended cut (the latter featuring a few more character beats, nothing particularly exciting), the only extras on the Blu-ray are a single deleted scene, an 8-minute reel of pre-viz animatics for two sequences, a 4-minute camera test and the trailer. The set also includes a Digital Copy.
Extras rating: 2/5

We say: This fresh take on the ‘found footage’ and superhero genres hits the spot in HD

20th Century Fox, All-region BD, £25 Approx, One sale now