Time Lapse (2014)


Time LapseStarring Danielle Panabaker, Matt O’Leary, George Finn

Directed by Bradley King

Whoever said you needed an uber-complicated plot in order to successfully maintain a sci-fi thriller? As with the case of director Bradley King’s (feature-film debut) Time Lapse, a very simple premise is laid out in front of the viewer, and it actually results in a solid payoff, so let’s jump in the time machine and cruise back to 1955…wait, wrong movie – OK, now I’ve got it – here we go.

Starring a triumvirate of young actors (Panabaker, O’Leary and Finn), they all play roomies in an apartment complex, and after receiving word that one of their neighbors hasn’t paid his rent (or been heard from) for a bit of time, the threesome decide that a welfare check is in order, and after entering the old man’s domicile, their find is pretty disturbing: not only has their elderly neighbor passed away, but it turns out that he was a bit of a peeping Tom. Amongst a slew of polaroid pictures tacked to his wall showcasing his nearby residents in a swarm of everyday photos, is a machine that has been aimed directly at their home, popping off shots every 24 hours. It’s an amazing piece of equipment, and after a short time of disbelief and initial fear about what it’s been used for, that’s when the usage for personal gain begins, setting off a series of events that surely lead to HUGE amounts of trouble.

Jasper (Finn) likes to throw the money down on the greyhounds, and his losing streak has been the stuff of local legends, but now with the use of a machine that literally predicts what happens in the course of the next day, he can’t possibly squander any more dough, and as fate would have it, the wins (and the greenbacks) start piling up. With all three roommates in financial straits, including Callie (Panabaker) and her boyfriend Finn (O’ Leary), who both have respective aspirations as a writer and a painter, this money is like much needed rain in a severe drought. However, “if it seems to be too good to be true” – you know the rest.

The reliance on the picture machine grows heavier as the lure of free money pulls them in, putting all three in not only physical jeopardy from an overly suspicious bookie named Ivan that’s been handling Jasper’s throwdowns, but from each other as well. You see, what King does is supply a nice piece of nail-biting drama that complements a sci-fi film that in essence, fits very loosely into that category. The evidence of distrust between the longtime friends becomes more prevalent as the movie gains speed towards a conclusion, and it’s not before long that we see the full-blown result of gluttony and greed as a two-headed monster.

If I had to search here for a few bites on the negative side, one would be the pacing of the movie itself, as the slow parts can get to be a little tedious, and the full-on explanation for why the machine was ever put into use by the threesome’s neighbor is a little thin, but these shouldn’t distract you from a really nice movie that King should be proud to call his first swim in a very big directorial pool.

  • Film
User Rating 3.07 (14 votes)


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