LAZY PLOT SUMMARY: Bad things happen in the ocean… And then it gets really confusing.
UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers]→ Violent mom purposely and repeatedly enters infinite violence loop.
LIMERICK REVIEW: There once was a mother named Jess,
who seemed like a damsel in distress.
At first you think she’s crazy,
Then you wonder if she’s just lazy.
She will repeat her ill fate nevertheless.
HAIKU REVIEW: Time comes in strange forms.
A line, loop, or figure-eight.
Understand your fate.
PEOPLE: Written & Directed by Christopher Smith — Are his other movies this good?? Starring Melissa George (Kathy Lutz from the 2005 Amityville Horror, Camilla Rhodes from Mulholland Dr., May from Dark City, Alias, Grey’s Anatomy, Home And Away).
I did NOT notice Michael Dorman being in both Daybreakers and this.
QUIRKS: MAJOR MINDFUCK MOVIE! This is *basically* a time travel movie, though technically, it’s not. It’s a time loop. Well, if you really want to get technical, it’s more of a figure 8; two separate timelines that both feed into and cause each other. There’s no actual time machine or anything. In fact, there is a lot of debate over whether what is happening is “really” happening.
Nothing was redundant! Everything was used! It turns out that [highlight for spoilers]→ not a single second of the movie occurs outside the loop, even though the viewer is led to believe the case is otherwise. Everything is tied together in a nearly perfect fashion.
Don’t skip paying attention to any scenes! Everything is crucial! I didn’t pay attention for 15 seconds and had to have stuff explained to me later. Every piece, no matter how insignificant, is part of the puzzle. And everything that seems like a flaw ends up making sense later. Things that seem like plot holes actually turn out to make total sense. The only exception to all of this is the very final end, which has just enough ambiguity to make it as thought-provoking as possible.
If you click these 2 links, there will be spoilers. But these are the two best links to read after watching the movie. Firstly, the whole movie can be interpreted as an allegory for the [highlight for spoilers]→ Greek story of Sisyphus (read about that HERE).. The other best-explanation-ever is the post that defines the events using psuedocode. [highlight for spoilers]→ “Odd numbered Jess’s always stab the group and always get killed. Even numbered Jess’s always shoot the group from the balcony and always escape the ship.” There’s also a good timeline of events here.
Very amazing observations at all of these links! Everything is explained! But don’t read before watching!
In reality… Like Vanilla Sky, the director intended for this movie to have multiple interpretations.
VISUALS: Pretty good, but this isn’t really a visual movie to begin with.
MORALS: As usual, time travel involves an entire new layer of morality that doesn’t exist for us non-time travelers. It’s always interesting what must be done, when time travel is involved.
BAD STUFF: Carolyn feels robbed, because it’s just a loop around, and she doesn’t [highlight for spoilers]→ do anything to try to break the cycle… Which is close to the only flaw here. However, there are explanations for her actions, including that it’s all just to try to see her son one more time. Ahh, a mother’s love.
Time travel loops tend to annoy some pedantic people who don’t seem to understand that a loop can be caused by a series of events that ends up never happening — it can “close up”. This is part of my time is a river theory (click for longer explanation). However, the mythology allegory actually causes that “plot hole” to cease to exist: Everything that seems like a plot hole [highlight for spoilers]→ is actually a construct of her personal hell as created by Charon/the gods/death.
CONCLUSION: One of the most thought-provoking “time travel” movies I’ve ever seen. I think this puts Timecrimes to shame. Have only rated 2 movies this high since 2007 or 2008. (The other was Sympathy For Lady Vengeance.) Really, the movie comes off as a generic thriller.. But by the end, you realize it’s a masterpiece. A total masterpiece. Of course, a lot of people don’t understand it. They should really go to the IMDB forum after watching. The Greek mythology allegory is only obvious IF you know what to look for. (I didn’t, but now I do.) It’s rather amazing the way this is all pieced together.
RECOMMENDATION: A MUST SEE! If you come out unsatisfied, go to the IMDB forums. A lot is explained in the 3 links I gave above.
SIMILAR MOVIES: They layering of multiple loops of time with [at least] 3 instances of the main character ***really*** reminds me of Timecrimes, more than any other movie. But the frantic horror when they first get onto the ship–and crazy deaths start happening inexplicably, as they wander a huge labyrinthine maze–really took me back to feelings I hadn’t had since watching The Cube franchise of horror movies.
I just watched Vanilla Sky… And this has some passing similarities to that as well. Especially with the “this seems trite, oh wait, now that it’s over I realize it’s a masterpiece” style of pacing.