“Time Lapse”: A Monster Within All of Us

By: Julie Siefker

If you’re like me, you love movies with twisted plots, the kind that changes dynamic all the way until the end. Time Lapse is exactly that kind of movie. Being rather unimpressed with modern, commercialized horror movies and what seems to be their staples: gore, jump scares, and bad acting, I am always looking for a unique horror movie experience. I was pleasantly surprised with this one, especially the plot twists (my favorite) that catch you off guard almost the entire movie. The movie is a success because it takes advantage of the ideas everyone has in their head of a “normal” scary movie and defies the stereotypes with each plot twist.

It starts out with a seemingly normal group of friends, Callie and Finn who are in a relationship, and Jasper who lives with them. The beginning leads us to believe it will be a scary movie like all the others when Callie goes across the street to check on their neighbor, Mr. Bezzerides, as he has not been collecting his newspapers or paying his rent. When she returns with a shocking discovery, the audience prepares for the dead body, murder scene, or whatever other horrific event that usually opens a scary movie. Instead they find a large camera pointed at their front window and hundreds of pictures of them in their living room lining the walls. They realize the camera takes a picture every day at the same time, but each picture shows what will happen 24 hours into the future. More investigations about the curious machine lead them to find the body of Mr. Bezzerides. From reading his journal, the characters discover he saw his own death in one of the photos and died trying to change his fate. Armed with their new time-traveling camera, they decide to cover up the death of Mr. Bezzerides and use the camera for their own personal gain. The three conclude that they must replicate each photo for the plan to work otherwise they should experience the fate of Mr. Bezzerides. Each day they collect the photos, finding a painting Finn can create and results of races Jasper uses to win bets.

I know what you’re thinking, this movie does not sound scary at all. I thought the same thing. But, as the characters try to change things out of their control, their reality becomes increasingly more complicated. As things go wrong, they try to compensate, to change their fate, creating even more problems for themselves. The story gets progressively creepier and more mysterious as the pictures reveals more disturbing images. Jasper’s boss–a dangerous man–in their living room. Callie being unfaithful to Finn. A blood splatter on the wall. A warning painted onto Finn’s canvas. With every new photo, the characters begin to question each other. As motives become unclear and situations become more intense, the fragility of their relationships are revealed. Besides the intricate plot, what I really liked about this movie is that there is no monster. Classic scary stories involve the devil, ghosts, murderers, stalkers, aliens, vampires, what have you but this one does not contain any of these. All of the bad things that happen to the characters are a direct result of their own actions as they communicate with the future. This movie shows that you don’t need ghouls or ghosts to make a scary movie. Sometimes, monsters are just regular people like you and I who get a little too carried away, find out a little too much, and get just a little too greedy. Without spoilers, I’ll simply leave you with this note: the movie will not end how you think, the characters are not who they seem and the future is not a guarantee.

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One thought on ““Time Lapse”: A Monster Within All of Us

  1. Hey Julie, student from last year here. I had to check out the movie because I love movies like this with incredible twists and themes that make you think about what happened weeks after watching it, so I pulled it up on Netflix and watched it tonight. Amazing movie, reminded me of “Predestination”, “Triangle”, or “Identity.” (I recommend you check those out if you’re a fan of these types of movies). I don’t think the movie itself was originally made as a “horror” movie, but it is still scary nonetheless. I often caught myself staring at the corner of the screen in anticipation of a jump-scare or half expecting a supernatural element, like one of the dead bodies resurrecting. It’s amazing how a movie dealing with the theme of time and causality, and free of monsters, cheap scares and ghosts, can be so terrifying! Just the concept of time, and how a future or fate is unchangeable and predetermined (or predestined – watch “Predestination!”) is unnerving in itself. Regardless, this was a great share, and I want to thank you for letting me know about this movie.

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