PopTop reviews: 'Found footage' thrillers offer shaky storytelling

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DVD • This is what "The Blair Witch Project" has wrought: filmmakers who think they can employ no-name actors, shoot disjointed scenes with shaky handheld cameras and pretend it's a "found footage" documentary. Two examples of the genre hit DVD shelves Tuesday: "Chronicle," in which three high-schoolers find an alien thingy that gives them superpowers; and "The Devil Inside," another exorcism horror movie. In both movies, the mock-documentary format serves to mask the predictability of the stories. "Chronicle" is, at least, clever with its camera tricks and offers a real ending. "The Devil Inside" just piles up gory scenes before jerking the audience's chain with a too-abrupt finale.

Sean P. Means