Time Lapse (2015) Movie Review: Don’t Mess with Time

With cult classics such as Alien, The Thing, The Fly and From Beyond leaving their mark in horror history, it comes as no surprise that science fiction has its own niche within the genre. While Time Lapse pales in comparison to these timeless classics, it holds its own by incorporating drama, mystery and horror while taking on the complexity of fate versus freewill. With access to major clues of events of the next 24 hours, can one change the future or will those actions simply become the chain of events to fulfill a future that has already been written?

Finn (Matt O’Leary), a distracted painter struggling with artist’s block, manages an apartment complex with his roommates, his girlfriend, Callie (Danielle Panabaker) and his best friend, Jasper (George Finn). When the trio realizes that a tenant is alarmingly late on rent and bills, Callie investigates only to find a vacant apartment with a wall of photographs and a giant piece of machinery. Returning with Finn and Jasper, the roommates discover this apartment is home to a science experiment with a camera that takes a picture every 24 hours. The camera prints a Polaroid revealing a major clue to future events. The catch? The tenant’s advanced fortune telling machine is angled towards the trio’s living room window.

Searching for more answers, the roommates find the corpse of the scientist in a storage closet after reading his scientific journal. Convinced that their tenant was killed trying to avoid his own death predicted by the camera, the three friends agree to adhere to whatever the machine displays in the next Polaroid. Jasper, a pill popping gambling addict, is more than willing to use this to his advantage and predict horse race results to make himself wealthy. Finn sees an advantage of his own when he notices the blank canvas in their living room has been filled, thereby breaking his artistic block. However, when the photographs begin to reveal undesired outcomes, things take a dark turn for the worst as tension begins to build among the trio driving them apart and leading to a deadly end.

Beginning with an oversimplified introduction, it initially seems as though Time Lapse will be nothing but a plot hole filled flop. However, the complexity of time is revealed as the story progresses and plot holes are filled with answers. The character arc of Finn, Callie and Jasper compliments the escalating story as the plot thickens with several twists. The conclusion is outstanding and forces one of the three to question the inevitability of certain life events.

Winning 18 awards and garnering 5 nominations, Time Lapse has earned a 6.5 out of 10 at IMDb and 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. This is a must see for any Netflix subscriber desperately searching for a glossed over gem. Be sure to cue Time Lapse up before its time to stream runs out.

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