*. Time Trap is the sort of movie you don’t see much of anymore. It’s also a movie that could have gone wrong in a lot of ways but remarkably stays upright for 87 minutes.
*. Why do I say that? For starters, it’s a little SF picture that’s quite technically ambitious, which is usually a recipe for disaster because going big when you don’t have the budget for it almost always ends in disaster. It’s also a time-travel story without a script that makes a whole lot of sense, and those have a habit of going wrong as well. But despite all this, I thought Time Trap stayed the course as a nice bit of fun.
*. The story has an archaeology professor (Andrew Wilson) going into a cave looking for the remains of his missing sister, who along with some hippies was looking for a fountain of youth when they disappeared back in the 1970s. Then, when the prof disappears a group of his students go into the cave after him.
*. As it turns out, the cave is a place where time passes a lot slower than in the outside world. I’m not sure they ever work out just how much slower, but from what I’ve been able to gather it’s somewhere around the order of one minute in the cave equaling 15 years anywhere else in the universe. So the ropes the spelunkers use quickly rot and they can’t use them to climb back out.
*. The rescue party find the professor and a whole lot more, including a bunch of cave people and some conquistadors that have been fighting in a frozen tableau for hundreds of years. There’s also an actual fountain of youth that not only reverses time but brings the dead back to life. And then there are spacemen who are entering the cave from our own future.
*. As I said, I don’t think the plot makes a whole lot of sense, but it’s quick enough that you don’t have much time to ask pesky questions, and I found the idea of the future raiding into the present while the present goes looking for the past to be quite interesting.
*. The writing-directing team of Mark Dennis and Ben Foster originally planned on doing it as a found footage movie (a bit of which still gets worked in), but by 2017 that fad was pretty much done. I’m glad they didn’t go that route, though I thought it might have made an intriguing experiment. Pulling off a story like this in that fashion would have been really complicated though.
*. The whole thing has the goofy, wholesome feel of an after-school TV special, with no bad language or gore and a super-happy ending. They were going for a cross of The Descent with The Goonies, and that’s another mash-up that should have spelled disaster but doesn’t. Not that I’m saying this is a great movie in any way, but if you just look at it as a bit of fun it’s quite alright.