Chronicle, the latest entry in the found footage genre, doesn’t have anything to do with home-wrecking supernatural entities (see: Paranormal Activity) or deadly giant creatures (see: Cloverfield). The film instead confronts a very different kind of horrifying concept: what if some everyday rowdy teenagers were to become even more uncontrollable by gaining superpowers?

The answer is unsurprisingly “bad things happen,” judging by the early footage in a new 60-second TV trailer and clip unveiled from the film – which was directed by Josh Trank, working from a screenplay penned by up-and-comer (and son of The Blues Brothers/An American Werewolf in London director John) Max Landis.

Landis and Trank co-conceived the screen story for Chronicle, which revolves around three teenage boys (Michael B. Jordan, Dane DeHaan, and Alex Russell) who gain superpowers after making an “incredible discovery.” However, one member of the trio (DeHaan) starts abusing his newfound abilities beyond the level of using them to, say, confuse people or look up girls’ skirts – and ends up becoming a dangerous menace who threatens to harm/kill innumerable civilians.

Get a taste of just that by watching the Chronicle TV trailer and clip below:

There are a couple of interesting ideas at play in the narrative setup for Chronicle; not only does it address the sort of issues typically raised in the superhero/super-powered individuals genre, there are also elements of a dark metaphor-laced coming-of-age story about a “weak” young man whose desire for power corrupts him when he gets it (a la Tetsuo’s character arc in Akira). Assuming Landis and Trank do a good job of executing said premise, Chronicle could prove to be one of the more memorable (fake) cinéma vérité flicks to be released in recent memory.

On that note: Chronicle looks a bit more polished than some of its peers, thanks to a $15 million budget that appears to have been used effectively, as far as creating super-power sequences and set pieces goes. This also looks to be a case where the found footage format makes all the more sense, seeings how the onscreen “filmmakers” in question are a crew of media-obsessed Generation Y-types who would believably be interested in documenting their every move… especially when said move involves (for example) destroying a car with your mind.

Chronicle is scheduled for theatrical release in the U.S. on February 3rd, 2012. Will you be checking it out?

Source: IGN, Machinima