Weekly Review: Time Lapse (2014)

What would you do if you discovered a camera that took photos 24 hours into the future? Three roommates decide to use it to their advantage until they start facing some of the consequences.

The plot of this movie seems like an adult version of one of my favorite Goosebumps books growing up. I’m sure many of you know the one, “Say Cheese and Die”? Either way, the idea of the negative things that come from seeing into your future has always been interesting to me. When I saw the premise of Time Lapse, I was immediately interested.

Time Lapse focuses around three roommates, a couple named Finn and Callie (Matt O’Leary and Danielle Panabaker) and their friend Jasper (George Finn). While Finn works as a building manager for an apartment complex by day, he’s an aspiring painter by night who can’t seem to figure out what to paint. His girlfriend Callie seems to be adjusted to his temperament as an artist, often making jokes about the faraway look in his eyes and catering to his likes. Jasper comes off as a bit of a bum, living in Finn’s apartment and gambling.

One day, after receiving concerned calls from other tenants, Callie goes to check on an elderly resident who hasn’t been seen in several days. When she enters his apartment, she discovers row upon row of pictures taken in the roommate’s front room. She calls Finn and Jasper in to investigate, and they soon find that the large camera in the room isn’t just taking pictures, it’s taking pictures of things that haven’t happened yet.

Of course, Jasper’s first thought is to use the pictures to aid in his gambling addiction. He can send the winning choices back in time to himself to make sure he keeps winning. It seems fool proof. Unfortunately, things start to get more and more complicated, and the three roommates find themselves in a web that they may not escape.

While I enjoyed the story a lot, I will admit that it’s not really new or groundbreaking. It’s been done many times before. That doesn’t mean that the story can’t be told well. Time Lapse has a pretty good story, and it throws enough of a punch in at the end to shock you, just when you thought you knew where it was headed.

Since the majority of the film takes place in a single apartment, Time Lapse has every potential to seem claustrophobic and boring, but it handles the problem pretty well. I personally never felt that anything was too small scale. It works for the story at hand.

It was nice to see Danielle Panabaker in this movie. While I will admit that I haven’t seen her in a lot since her early years, I do often see her in plots that interest me. It’s nice to see that she’s still around. She did a pretty good job in her portrayal here, and I don’t have any complaints about how O’Leary and Finn portrayed their characters either.

If you’re in the mood for some fun time loops, then do give Time Lapse a chance. It’s a pretty decent film, and it’s currently available on Netflix.


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