24 Hour Photo

​Review of Time Lapse at SIFF by Daniel G.

This is one of the most heart-pounding movies I've ever seen. It's a brilliant psychological and supernatural story that asks the question, “What would you do if you knew your future exactly 24 hours ahead of time?” Though it sounds tacky, Time Lapse is far from it.

The story, though it has a couple additional characters, mostly focuses on three friends and roommates: Jasper, Finn, and Callie. The group finds one of their local residents missing, and when they go to check on him, they find a machine that shoots photos into their living room, but with the added twist that it's 24 hours into the future. And from there things go into the obvious downward spiral of distrust and tragedy.

But the way the characters change is incredible. Each one turns into a completely different human being in the most believable way. It's honestly some of the best acting I've ever seen. With each photo, there are more new questions raised: How do the characters get up to this point? What happens if they don't follow the photo? It brings up true questions of what the cost is when too much power is in human hands.

The film does have one or two speed bumps though. A couple of plot holes and occasionally some rather fast conclusions drawn early on seem slightly ridiculous unless the characters themselves have seen the film's synopsis. For instance, Jasper mostly explains at the beginning of the film what the machine has to be without all the proper knowledge to piece together that idea. I also found that while some questions in the film were best left unanswered and made the film stronger as a whole, other subplots that were discontinued made me wrack my brain for an answer, and to no avail. I also felt as if the soundtrack, though well composed, sometimes felt misplaced at certain moments.

Probably one of my favorite elements of the film is how well paced it is. The beginning moves a little too fast, but as a whole the movie feels more like it's a mini-series, with constant plot twists that truly change the entire idea of the film. It's hard to explain without spoilers, but even at the end, so many revelations hit to explain what I never even realized I needed an explanation for. Basically, the film only gets better as it goes on, which is a very rare feat. There were times during which, as a viewer, I felt very intrigued or tense watching the tragic tale unfold, and with each new problem that materialized, I became all the more invested.

In the end, this may be one of the best sci-fi thriller films I have ever seen. It's both stunning and sad, which is fantastic. I Even at the beginning there's one or two laughs for those who enjoy comedy, true terror for those who love suspense, and a mystery for those who enjoy following clues that are slowly put together, over and over again. Do your future self a favor and go watch this.

Time Lapse
Seattle International Film Festival
Screenings May 31 and June 1

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