Movie Review: Time Lapse (2014)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2014 thriller starring Danielle Panabaker and Jason Spisak.

Synopsis: An apartment building manager and his two friends check up on an elderly scientist who is behind on his rent and discover a machine that has been taking photographs of their apartment and showing scenes that take place 24 hours into the future. After learning the scientist is now deceased, they decide to pretend he is still alive and use the machine to make money. Their plan works. However, the stress of having to pose exactly like the photos show (or risk the consequences of stopping their timeline) and various other obstacles quickly begin to take their toll.


I came across this movie a couple nights ago on Netflix and, even though I had never heard of it before, thought it sounded interesting. My wife and I ended up watching it over the course of two nights and, after finishing it last night, I have to admit it was better than I expected.

The thing I found I liked best about this film was the overall mystery. At first, the premise seemed simple enough, pose exactly like the photo shows and their timeline remained unaffected. But, by essentially skipping over the things that would have led to those photos, part of the story remained missing and, because of that, there were plenty of poses (such as a scene leading to an awkward kiss) that seemed like they desperately needed a back story.

This, combined with other missing details about the machine, such as whether or not it could take photos further into the future and why it stopped taking a photo twice each day, made it pretty clear there was much more to the story. And, I have to admit, there were quite a few surprises when most of those details were filled in at the end and we learned the truth about who was really determining their fate and why.

Another major surprise for me when watching this movie was how much action it had. When we first started watching it, I was concerned it would be a boring film. But, thanks to unexpected visitors ranging from a suspicious bookie to a concerned friend of the dead scientist, the movie did manage to have quite a bit of suspense, especially as the stress started to take its toll and the one character, Jasper (Finn) started to become paranoid to the point he was violent. It was pretty obvious he was going to snap at some point. However, it wasn’t as easy to figure out when that was going to be.

Final Opinion

The movie takes a little bit to get going. But, once it does, it is a halfway decent mystery/thriller that is worth taking the time to watch, assuming, of course, you’re able to keep up with it.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 09/09/2015, StevenHelmer
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