Rob is going away and every single one of his friends attend the surprise party, including his deeply caring brother and Beth, a girl with whom he shares harsh words, shortly before she dismisses herself. Obviously in termoil, Rob is about ready to go crazy when something rattles the entire neighborhood, blacking out the entire Manhattan Island for countless seconds.
It seems the event was much more than an earthquake when a loud roar is heard from afar and an explosion destroys a building in the distance. What happens next is a series of events that plays out from the perspective of a single hand-held camera, as it was from the very beginning. There's no outside music. There's no cutaways. The directors sense of what startles the remaining party plays out with such great purpose, it's hard to believe.
For those of us that have wanted some mystery to remain in a horror movie while giving us pretty good characters and a solid story of well plotted action... This is the film.
There are moments in this film where I actually believed it was real. It was a dovumentary, such as a frighteningly realistic performance by Michael Stahl-David(Rob) in the subway tunnel, when he has to break some bad news to his mother. From that moment on, I found myself completely attached to the character and thus the lives of his friends, who have decided that they are going to rescue an injured damsel in distress, Beth, who is somewhere on the 39th floor of a capsized building that is leaning against another building.
One of the more distinguished parts of the movie is how the director and writer keep the single perspective, but yet show us several different aspects of the film and are able to use a very clever and creative technique to flash back to some intensely necessary flashbacks. It's enough to make you say, "Nice", everytime you see it.
One of the harshest parts of the film? The shaky cam. Although it is a considerably short movie and the smoothness gets greater and greater, the shaky cam's first few minutes a jarring as the characters trade off positions, thus creating a disorienting feeling you may want to look off the screen from. My suggestion here is, look into the dim lights of the theater for a few seconds. Don't leave... Because when this plot gets rollin', you won't be able to take your eyes off it.