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Entry updated 16 February 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (2009). Icon Entertainment International/Framestore/UK Film Council in association with The Pacific Film and Television Commission present a Dan Films/Pictures in Paradise production. Written and directed by Christopher Smith. Cast includes Rachael Carpani, Michael Dorman, Melissa George, Liam Hemsworth, Emma Lung and Henry Nixon. 96 minutes. Colour.

A young mother of an autistic son takes a day off to go sailing with five companions in the Bermuda Triangle, but a freak storm traps them in a Time Loop on a mysteriously deserted cruise ship, where a hooded figure is attempting to kill them. After unsettling demonstrations that the cycle of horrors will iterate without end unless broken by violent means, she manages to escape to shore and child, only to find that the original loop is merely an epicycle within a larger and less escapable loop.

Queensland plays Florida for a British writer-director in this budget-strapped but striking marriage of Time Distortion with the genre poetics of Horror cinema. Where most films of Time Travel lean more heavily on logic than film generally finds congenial, Smith's more impressionistic and atmosphere-driven approach has more in common with Shane Carruth's baroquely overplotted Primer (2004) than with the more transparent mechanics of its more immediate prototype Los Cronocrímenes (2007). As the Time Paradox escalates, the film turns narrative and emotional attention away from the mechanics of the loop to the heroine's subjective experience and Paranoia, with some strong dramatic payoffs delivered by exploiting the consequent elasticity of the Time Out of Sequence plotting. The opening sequence turns out to be a trick narrative which needs a repeat viewing for its full implications to be appreciated. [NL]


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