There’s a nerdy new time travelling movie on the horizon. It’s called ALMANAC. And it got me to push up my proverbial glasses & pay attention. The trailer begins as a teenager watches old home movies . Fairly innocuous, right? Until he notices his teenage self in the footage – reflected in a mirror. What?! His present-day self is in a video from the past? Talk about an effective hook… my cheek is pierced.
So I’m reeled in with this strong concept, and the story just gets more complicated from there. I’m loving it. There’s a mysterious ticking sound coming from below the floors in the teenager’s house. A mysterious box is hidden within. A time machine? This segment really gave me a Young Adult version of LOST vibe. That’s a good thing.
ALMANAC actually sent out a few vibes reminding me of cult classic movies. The found footage aspect, and teens gaining “super powers” reminds me of CHRONICLE. The “ripple” effect where their actions in the past can alter the present in drastic ways reminds me of THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT. The DONNIE DARKO stuff comes from a teen feeling the enormous pressures of saving the world – handled in a dark & realistic manner.
When the friend “fades” from the present it reminded me of BACK TO THE FUTURE. Now, this may sound like it ripped off all these great sci-fi flicks, but I’m saying it’s a melting pot of the best in the genre. All these familiar elements are whipped up in a new concoction promising an exciting new exploration of time travel & the consequences of our actions. A cautionary tale, really.
It looks like these time-travelling friends have a lot of fun with their new-found abilities. They use it to win the lottery. They have fun spending their money on fancy cars. They pull pranks. Or use the machine to hit on girls. Get shot down once, go back and alter your approach. One of the friends manipulates time to get back at her bully. I’m glad ALMANAC remembers to have fun with this premise. We want the science and the emotional conflicts but we also want to fun. It looks like this movie might pull of this balance.
The movie also has style. It uses the found footage aesthetic to its advantage. These kids are documenting their discovery with a video ALMANAC of sorts. Maybe they’re keeping track of all the timelines? Maybe they literally “replay” events?
I also like it when the friend starts to fade from their reality he doesn’t fade like a Polaroid (as per the contemporary technology in the BACK TO THE FUTURE scene). But for this day-and-age, he disappears like digital video fragments & distorts, like the horizontal lines that jiggle or pixelate and slide. It’s a little thing, but those add up to complete the full picture & compliment the found footage appearance.
This trailer for ALMANAC gets me super excited to watch this time travel movie. It looks like it will consider the science, but also have fun with the concept. I’m looking forward to the course correction problems they will encounter. I wonder how large the scope will get. Will they have to save their friend? Or themselves as they all fade away one by one? Or will their mistakes bring about the end of the world? ALMANAC already has me intrigued and participating in the story.
What do you think? Are you ready for an “original” sci-fi flick that isn’t a sequel or based on a book or something? Are you looking forward to ALMANAC?
OR – Do you feel like this is just a blatant rip-off of previous movies in the sub-genre? Does that “Produced by MICHAEL BAY” credit really freak you out & make you hesitant?
What are your favourite time travel movies?