A letter from her future self spells disaster in this creepy horror/sci-fi
by Richard Boylan
8 Min / USA



What makes the found-footage horror genre so popular? It adds a surface coating of reality to a horror film and it is very easy to identify with the camera-weiders, because we have all waved a camera around clumsily trying to focus on that action and are very familiar with that point of view. That roughness signals this is reality. And it means that the horror can exists in our world and not just in the world of movies.

In Timelike all we have to work with is the camera's POV. Madeline's boyfriend is shooting her last day at her apartment on March 1, 1993 with a VHS camera, before she moves away to study advanced physics at a university. A strange woman shows up with a message from her future self. And then the world seems to end. Until it begins again, the same scene repeats with some variations, and so on. The letter's contents are never revealed. There are some clues as to what is going on, but never enough info so that you can be definitively sure. My theory: Madeline's future self seems to have transmitted a key back in time to save the world, but for that key to be given, those world-destroying events would still actually have to occur. That moment in time, this film is stuck in a temporal paradox, a loop with no exit.

Now that's really scary.