Now this is the type of movie One Star Classics was born to cover: An incredibly flawed, yet surprisingly clever sci-fi-esque movie which plays like a David Lynch directed episode of Twilight Zone. (As it turns out, Time Lapse actually was inspired by an episode of the epic show.)
The premise here is simple: Three friends discover a large camera is pointed at their living room from the neighbor’s apartment. The neighbor is missing, yet the camera keeps taking pictures at 8pm every night. To make it all just a pinch more weird, the photos are actually from 24 hours into the future.
Guess who decide to take advantage of these turns of events? And then guess who will find how one should not mess with the future? Yes, this is a true One Star Classic!
There are gleeful things happening here, and you’ll keep questioning them throughout: Does the camera have a mind of its own, one that sadistically starts torturing its users? Is placing perfect dog-race bets every day, expecting nobody to notice you’re doing so particularly smart? How can the kids stand in front of the camera, waiting for a new picture at 8pm when yesterday’s photo clearly showed them in their apartment? I mean, OK, there are plot-holes, but that’s OK. They don’t get in the way of the more mind-bending aspects of the film. Time Lapse could easily stand a second viewing.
The actors do a good job throughout, and particularly Danielle Panbaker (you know her from The Flash) puts in an excellent performance.
As these Twilight Zone things go, the ending has both twists and turns, and I was actually taken by surprise by it. I’m not 100% convinced it truly was logical, and that’s where the second viewing could come in. I wouldn’t be against watching Time Lapse again, just to prove it wrong. Spite-watching? I’m all for it.
Frankly, the incredibly generic cover art at Netflix made me skip past this movie repeatedly. That was a mistake—Time Lapse might have its issues, but at its heart, it’s an entertaining ride, one that gives your brain just a little bit of a slow powerwalk. Check it out, and then thank me for giving you this gift of ninety minutes not too far from three stops before heaven.
Letterboxd summary: Three friends discover a mysterious machine that takes pictures 24 hours into the future and conspire to use it for personal gain, until disturbing and dangerous images begin to develop.
Ratings from around the web
|One Star Classics||4/6|