This is one of the more peculiar films I’ve seen in recent times. Thankfully, it was bought to me with the wonders of Sky Go, as every so often add these weird and wonderful films. Much like Lars Von Trier’s Dogville, Time Lapse is a film centred on human nature with regards to three people who discover a time travelling camera.
Allow me to explain. The three friends, Jasper (George Finn), Finn (Matt O’Leary) and Callie (Danielle Panabaker) live in an apartment across the way from an elderly neighbour. The neighbour – Mr. B – has been missing for the last week and Finn, being the maintenance manager, checks on the apartment to find a camera that has a photo of their front room across the way. Confused, they assume he’s a peeping tom, however, they soon realise that the photo is from the 24 hours into the future.
They eventually find Mr. B’s body in the storage unit, and discuss the option of calling the cops, however, Jasper fuelled by his own greed, argues against it and wants to use it for his own personal gain. They all realise the advantages of doing this, including Finn (The level headed one of the three) can finally paint without being ‘blocked’, considering the photo shows what he paints.
That is pretty much all there is to the story, but the director Bradley King adapts this around each of the characters intentions. Their intentions are sub par, typical revolving around money and them wanting to pursue their dreams (Jasper’s literally being to make as much money as possible).
As they continue with their lives and not destroying the machine and posing for the photos, it begins to spiral out of control when Jasper’s bookie, Ivan, becomes inquisitive about Jasper’s recent run of good luck. This is when it spirals downward into the depths of a thriller as the trio try to back their way out of a corner Jasper walked them into.
It isn’t the greatest edge-of-your-seatt thriller thats ever unfolded, but with a plot twist, mixed in with the paranoia-induced frenzy that Jasper spirals into, theres enough intensity to keep you watching. A side story does appear throughout the film, starting off at the photo of Jasper kissing Callie. As Finn paints, the kiss goes on for too long, in which Finn storms off angry and jealous. (This is a little bit of a spoiler) This is where Callie’s motive with the time travelling camera is finally shown, she uses it to get Finn to become jealous and ‘fight for them’ as she says. She uses the daytime photos (That were previously missing) to send messages to herself, to make sure Finn fights for them as a couple.
As I mentioned, this film isn’t too different from Dogville in the sense of human nature being the reigning factor in the film. Even as they talk themselves out of the sensible thing to do when finding the body all for their own personal gain.
Admittedly, it isn’t the perfect thriller film, majority of it can be guessed, but it’s a fresh piece of work to be seen in the thriller genre, considering the use of the time travelling camera as the central piece of the puzzle. Bradley King’s use of the small apartment complex, with most of the story taking place in the the two apartments, keeps the story structured and there isn’t much room for distraction with spectacle. One thing I did really enjoy in this film is, as the film rolls on and Jasper becomes increasingly paranoid, his face starts to show signs of this and of course his frantic behaviour.
The acting is fine, probably the height of it coming from Jasper as expected as he ups his paranoia and performance to give a convincing role. Callie and Finn are admittedly subpar along with the rest of the cast. I think the big triumph of this film is Jasper, along with the fresh approach to thrillers involving time travel, but the scripting to main theme being about the nature of humans when involved with different emotions (mainly greed and love though) is something that should be loved about this film too.
In by no means is it a immediate must-watch, but it’s a recommendation as the film is just over 100 minutes long and makes for an sort-of entertaining, if not interesting, watch.