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Today’s Netflix pick is a trippy mindbender with a small cast and a big vision. Starring mostly unknowns, the movie is, like many in the genre, a real thinker, so paying attention is crucial, but it’s also really entertaining while it pokes at that WTF? lobe in your brain. While it’s ostensibly a time travel flick it’s actually anything but, more a morality play as three people, who should be nowhere near each other, try to solve a mystery that threatens their very lives. It’s Time Lapse, and it’s what you’re watching tonight. Here’s why.
THE STORY: Directed by Bradley King, it follows three young people who manage a home-style apartment complex. They are Finn (Matt O’Leary), a down on his luck oil painter who hasn’t sold his work in ages; Jasper (George Finn) is his best friend, a stoner, addicted to dog racing, and Callie (Danielle Panabaker), Finn’s girlfriend, a motherly-type who cooks and occasionally models for Finn. When they discover an odd machine in the apartment across from where they live, they soon learn that it takes Polaroids of time 24 hours into the future. Thinking it’s a gift that will change their lives, they at least they have that right, it does, but more so like a nightmare than a dream come true.
WHY YOU NEED TO WATCH: Time travel and paradox movies are a pretty tricky bunch, with most having our heroes muck up their past or future before getting it fixed just in time, sometimes with a Delorean. Not so with Time Lapse, which has more in common with the Indie classic Primer than Back to the Future. A small film with basically two sets and three actors, it is a tightly wound story that shifts constantly, with some jarring moments that keep this an unsettling little gem. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, it yanks the rug out again. We love it. It’s streaming on Netflix right now.