An Impressive Sci-Fi Thriller | Review of ‘Time Lapse’

By Cynthia Ayala

Time Lapse starring Danielle Panabaker, Matt O’Leary & George Finn

Three friends discover a mysterious machine that takes pictures 24hrs into the future and conspire to use it for personal gain, until disturbing and dangerous images begin to develop.

    – IMDB

Time Lapse exceeds expectations from a first glance and proves that small budget sci-fi thrillers can be exceedingly impressive.

Based on The Twilight Zone episode ‘A Most Unusual Camera’ this film follows the same premise of three friends finding this unique camera that sees into the future. Much like in the episode, the friends decide to use the device for personal gain, but soon the pictures turn into terrifying images that turn the friends against one another raising the tension of the film non-stop.

Many of the events are to be suspected and that’s what makes this film so impressive, the direction the film took. On a very basic level it took that episode, turned a concept written in 30 minutes, and stretched it into an almost 2-hour film. That is at the very core of the film, so for fans of the Twilight Zone, this will be a treat. However, Bradley D. King was brilliant in the way he was able to take all the elements of the original show and develop them into something more. King took the elements of the three people and changed their working dynamic with one another, changing the brother to their close friend and roommate and taking the married couple, turning them from crooks to starving artists and lovers who are managers of a building. So the dynamics change in this film and with it the evolution of the story making it a thrilling science fiction adventure.

It also works in the film’s favor that it was low budget because that allowed the writers and actors to develop the characters and the story to make it very interesting. The way the characters evolve with seeing the future and how they react to the events really foreshadows the direction the film is going to take while still creating this wow factor, catching the viewer off guard.

As for the acting, these three actors were best suited for their parts, playing off each other and creating the right amount of tension between one another. Danielle Panabaker especially was perfect for the role of the innocent one who is caught in the love triangle between Matt O’Leary & George Finn, respectively. So watching each of them warp who they are, getting sucked into the future and what they see just draws the audience in more. How can anyone let go of the future when it influences them so much and can reward them so heavily? How could anyone turn away and forgo control of their own lives because the future has already been seen?

This film asks many questions regarding fate and the future. At first it almost seems as though these characters have control over the future, but as the film soon dictates, no, they do not, they are living the lives the camera and themselves have dictated and there is no changing the future. That’s the scary part of the film because it’s the part that starts to drives the characters toward insanity and paranoia.

Overall, this was a brilliant film because it focused on who the story and it evolved with each picture printed, developing the characters alongside the story. Low budget films, science fiction especially, have the opportunity to go awry, but when they are acted out so well and written so well, they can be truly amazing.

There is one thing the film addresses quite perfectly: to know the future, is to be trapped by it. The question: is it possible to escape? Watch this film to figure that out. (★★★★ | A)

– Film Credits –

Directed by Bradley D. King

Written by Bradley D. King & BP Cooper

Starring: Danielle Panabaker, Matt O’Leary & George Finn

Genre | Rating | Length: Fantasy/Thriller | TV-MA | 1 h 44 min

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