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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.

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Time Lapse movie full length review - Intriguing concept, decent execution

First I just want to say that there are a lot of reviews on here where people criticize a film because the characters in the film don't make the same choices the viewer thinks their-self would have made.

That is not how storytelling works -- it's not supposed to be a validation for the reader/viewer, but rather a sequence of events and decisions made by the characters, people who are not you. It's intended to give a perspective, not to stroke your ego and make you feel better about yourself. "I'm super-smart and wouldn't have made the same mistakes"... The movie isn't about you.

Secondly, just because a concept has been previously explored in another film/show/whatever doesn't invalidate this incarnation. Sometimes it's worth exploring an idea from a different angle, with different characters, etc... As far as I know there's no rule in the universe that says you can only consider something a single time. Are thoughts disposable now too, like everything else? I find these ideas of time-travel quite interesting, so I'm very happy to view alternate hypotheticals...

Anyway, this film was intriguing, despite some obvious clichés like the bookie. The characters themselves are not particularly interesting, but I don't think this is a film intended to develop deeply rich characters. Like another reviewer mentioned, this is more like an extended X-Files or Twilight Zone episode, but that's fine. I don't watch the X-Files for the amazing character development... The basic premise is that the three main characters find a camera that takes pictures of the future, and decide to try and use that power for personal financial gain -- in this case via illegal betting. This is another cliché, but I think most people in real life are clichés, so this decision fits perfectly in-line with real life. 99.99% of all people in the world would immediately decide to win the lottery or something with this device, so it makes sense that the characters in the film would head down this path as well. Naturally with power like this you want to keep it a secret, and the movie characters are no different. Understandable. Unfortunately, this sort manipulation of the universe tends to cause others to take notice of things that "just aren't quite right", and this leads to trouble.

I think the most interesting aspect of the story is the characters know the future a day in advance, and immediately decide that they need to fulfill the predictions or else the universe will collapse or something. Once you know the future, is free-will destroyed? If that's the case, then does free-will even exist at all to begin with? As soon as they know the future, the characters are now being pulled forward in time by the photographs rather than them making decisions for themselves. It's a very curious thing. It's almost as if once you know the future, your present self ceases to exist until that point in the future. This is good bedtime thinking fodder, guaranteed to melt your brain a bit.

All in all, the film was well-made. All the sets and shots and angles were very good. The actors did well portraying arguably clichéd characters. The only thing that stood out to me as out-of-place was the camera machine itself. It had a very futuristic and "shiny" visual style that didn't seem to match the rest of the props or setting, especially the Polaroid output. The story was decent enough to keep me engaged throughout the film, though, and there are some very interesting twists in the second half.