As a long time science fiction fan, I can tell you that traditionally, much of what passes for science fiction in movies and TV is crap. Some of it campy crap, which can still be fun (like Sharknado) but most of it is just crap-crap; earnest low budget attempts that are just not well thought out and terrible. However I’ve has a bit of good luck recently on Netflix with a couple of recent time travel related movies. These are two I would actually recommend without embarrassment.
First up, In the Shadow of the Moon, begins in 1988 when a young Philadelphia cop, Thomas Lockhart, with a pregnant wife is on the trail of a seeming female serial killer who he corners in a subway station where she begins mentioning detailed information about his life, before being hit by a train and killed. The police close the case and that’s that until 9 years later when the exact same type of murders occur, with an identical suspect. Since I’ve already said this was a time travel movie, you can put two and two together and guess there is a connection. However how the connection reveals itself gives us a moody drama as Lockhart’s life implodes as he becomes more and more obsessed with tracking down the serial killer and discovering the why of these victims.
There are plenty of SJW points to be accumulated here as a white supremacy group plays a role. This is the Trump era after all! However, the clever conclusion of the film more than makes up for whatever social justice points the writers are trying to score. It’s still a well done story.
Time Trap was originally a video-on-demand film before Netflix obtained it. An archeology professor who has spent years trying to find his hippie parents who vanished in the 1970’s discovers their old van, apparently untouched after all these years, outside a hidden cave system. He goes into the cave exploring and…
…some of his students, trying to locate the missing professor, organize a little search party, find the van, the professor’s car and a cave system, go exploring and…
…and it’s a trap. It’s no spoiler to say that time moves differently inside these caves. That’s actually part of the movie description, but how that affects the characters, and how long it takes them to figure out what’s going on, is part of the fun. They have either all the time in the world, or almost no time at all, to figure out the mystery. That’s a matter of perspective.
Anyway both of these movies were surprisingly thought provoking and I give them two thumbs up.