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Stars: Dane Dehaan, Alex Russell, Michael B Jordan, Ashley Hinshaw

Director: Josh Trank

Yet another low-budget specimen from the already somewhat over-valued genre known as ‘found footage’ triggered off by the still increasingly overrated The Blair Witch Project and continued with better offerings like Cloverfield.

It helps that the prototypical teenage high school protagonists – DeHaan the son of an abusive father who records the narrative on his newly purchased video camera, class president and aspiring politician Jordan and nothing-out-of-the-ordinary fellow student Russell are played by unfamiliar (to moviegoers, at any rate) performers which gives the superhero story added credence.

The trio comes across a strange hole in the ground and, like Alice before them following the White Rabbit into Wonderland, they plunge into the beckoning cavity and magically emerge endowed with superpowers. At first they use their newly-acquired telekinetic skills in typical teenage pursuits, raising girls’ skirts and causing chaos in a supermarket by causing trolleys to run off on their own, things to leap off shelves into trolleys and cause a teddy bear to soar into the air sounding off.

They also find they can fly. But slowly their darker sides make themselves known as they use their power to crash cars and worse…

Director and co-scenarist Trank uses convincing special effects very effectively but never allows movie magic to overwhelm his very watchable thriller which culminates in a vivid climax, and there is plenty of imagination included although without breaking a great deal of new ground.

Performances are fine and just what the film, shot in South Africa and Vancouver, needed to keep science fiction fans watching and well entertained.

Alan Frank

USA 2012. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox . Colour.
83 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 31 Jan 2012