*. 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.
Where would you go, if you could go anywhere in time and space, Alex?
On the farm. Summer 1985. Tell myself not to do it. And you?
What crime did you commit back in 85? On the farm?
Nameless crimes. But no video, which I think a blessing.
Man, you’ve been on a roll of liking movies in the past week. You feeling ok? Did you get new bins or something?
I can tell even I’ve been affected by the advent of really long movies because 87minutes sounds like it’s just a warmup to me now. Isn’t that sad?
The quick running time is a real plus here. It’s light entertainment.
I fully concur. In the book world, I now feel that 300 pages is a short book, whereas that used to be long.
What’s next, bigger bins?
Smaller bins! It’s all about reducing before reusing and recycling. Before long we’ll have bins no bigger than a lunch pail.
Does that mean our soda and water bottles will go down to 4oz or something?
Not necessarily. We could just switch to using thermoses . . .
I’m not drinking tap water! That stuff is gross here.
Does your tap burst into flame if you light a match under it?
Thankfully not. But it’s chemical tasting as all get out. Nothing fresh about it.
Don’t think I’ll do this, time travel is always convoluted and Phil likes stories that go in a straight line!
In a way this is pretty linear. The main bunch don’t go back in time so much but just take little and big jumps forward. But it’s more a bit of fun than a must-see flick.
I’d love one of these caves. I could go in for a minute and hop out. Suddenly I have no responsibilities. I can go anywhere and do as I wish. Then when I’m bored I’ll weave some story about having been kidnapped and escaping my captor.
Problem is you have to jump out pretty quickly. Stay for twenty minutes and the world you return to is a wasteland.
I immediately thought of The Goonies for some reason too and it does sound like one of those movies you have to watch without turning on your brain.
Yep, it’s definitely more Goonies than The Descent. More an after-school special.