My Take – The concept of a device providing a sneak peak into the future resulting into a dark or evil outcome isn’t a new idea by any means, but being a fan of the genre, something about this plot line always intrigues me. Being a small budget film with few special effects, it relies heavily on a sharp script, good acting and an interesting story. It doesn’t take long to set the scene and is always interesting. The story follows a struggling artist Finn (O’Leary) going through an “artist block”. Hence also works as a building manager to keep the money together, while living with his girlfriend Callie (Panabaker) and his gambler roommate Jasper (Finn). The friends investigate a scientist resident who seems to have gone missing and discover a camera taking photos of their living room. Upon discovering that the camera takes a photo of the next day, the group try to figure out what is going on and discuss what they could use to their advantage.
While they continue to make money from the camera suspicious starts to grow on them. Ivan (Spisak) Jasper’s bookie learns of the camera and soon ends up forcing them to continue getting the photos results so he can benefit from them. The friends grow distant as they continue to question why they end up in the situations in the photos. As things go from bad to worse for the three friends we enter into a zone of surprising plot turns.Director Bradley King wastes no time in setting up the plot, he immediately put you on the edge of your seat, and keep you there until the credits roll. I also enjoyed the claustrophobic atmosphere, growing the tension between the characters, already very ambiguous toward each others in their unhealthy romantic love triangle, the evolution of which being very unexpected. Once they find a machine that produces a picture of the future (24 hours later), they are trapped in the time paradox, they have to commit to what the future is supposed to be, powerless in the face of what appears to be their fate, increasing their already existing paranoia, greediness and lust. The mood of the film reminds me of classic suspense films. The way it draws you in hoping that you don’t miss a clue such as: a particular look on a character’s face or an accidental slip of the tongue. Above all of this however, I was thoroughly engaged by the film’s focus on the characters. Their lives are thinly held together and strained before finding their neighbor’s future-revealing camera. After this discovery they use an “end to justify the means” approach to advance their selfish desires. This quickly leads each character down a path of self destruction, which is of course very fun to watch!
Yes, the movie has its own set of negatives, being confined to a single modest apartment complex, it limits the scope or possibility of how or where the film could have gone towards, well of course, before its shocking climax. As the film is set in one location it really requires strong performances from the cast and thankfully all three leads excellent as are all the supporting cast. Danielle Panabaker is particularly good as she develops from the sweet girl into something a lot darker. Matt O’Leary playing the reluctant member of the friends who gains motivation from what he sees in the photos. Matt gives a good performance. George Finn is star of the show! His gambling addiction & obsession about the photos turns his character psychotic & paranoid, a very likeable performance! On the whole Time Lapse uses the theory of time travel to push a unique story with a setting being a residential home where the three friends live together showing that they have become trapped in the world where they can’t escape a future they think they can’t change. Though the plot may not appeal to all, but for fans of the genre tightly knit, well written, fast-paced thriller is a must watch!
Director – Bradley King
Rated – NR
Run Time – 104 minutes