A Promise of Time Travel (2016) Poster

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8/10
Well-done movie in a time-worn genre
Snootz24 December 2017
The current reviews of this movie average 5.5 from a little over 100 viewers. With no insult-to-intelligence intended, I think that may be because A) a number of people simply didn't understand it (it's not a simple story at all) or B) there wasn't enough adrenaline present to fuel today's CGI-addicted audience.

Despite my lack of tolerance these days for "yet another time travel story", this was unique in both concept and execution. With the exception of the two lead female characters (who both do quite a good job of acting), the other characters seem stylized, goofy and cliche. This gives the film a feel of "amateur" until one starts to realize this may be intentional. Then as the ending is unveiled (no spoilers!) we find out there is very good reason for these characterizations-- and we understand how brilliantly the whole film was carried off.

Could it have been better? Maybe with a big budget and top-level director, yes. But I doubt the story could have been more convincing or the actors done any better job pulling off their roles. (With one conceptual exception, which I simply cannot go into here without a major spoiler.)

The time travel schtick has been done to death... with this exception. This is a bit new, a different twist, and that alone makes this film well worth watching. I wasn't sure until the very end whether I liked it or not, then realized how well done it actually is. Like THE SIXTH SENSE there are clues scattered all throughout the film, but it is unlikely the viewer will recognize any of them until they start coming together near the end. The whole film is like a jigsaw puzzle that provides glimpses here and there but no clear picture until it's almost finished. The ending is a totally unexpected twist that makes this particular take on time travel unique and sets it apart from what-has-gone-before.

So despite the very slow-moving pace of this film, despite lack of real climax or action or anything which ordinarily would move me to give a movie high ratings, I give this a good solid 8 stars for achieving what it intended to achieve and pulling it off in a logical manner.

As a note: if anyone watches this and "doesn't get it" (it helps if you're a scifi geek to start with), just research the ending on Google; there should be explanations aplenty. As someone who has read and watched this genre pretty much all my life, I can say it is one of the better presentations i have seen on this theme and when it all wraps up, is surprisingly well done. I agree with doubtitall's review: the final plot element hits unexpectedly and is worth taking the time to watch this film... even if like me, you've had your fill of time travel movies.
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9/10
An interesting new twist on the well worn time travel theme.
doubtitall1 November 2017
A Promise of Time Travel is a surprising gem.

It has the low budget feel to it, and the special effects are effectively non-existent. The trailer didn't look promising at all. For most of the movie it seemed the story could be just a vehicle for ramblings into thinking about time travel rather than actual science fiction. It seems like it might be one of those movies that ends with a question mark rather than any answers about what's been happening.

Still, the story was intriguing enough to keep me watching, and I'm glad I did. The payoff was superb.
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10/10
Recommended
ksteverson-4130720 April 2018
I stumbled upon this movie on Amazon prime and started watching fully expecting to turn it off after 10 minutes. Instead, the movie drew me in, entertained, and left a lasting impression. To the point where I felt compelled to leave this review, and I never review anything online. It is a low-budget production, which shows to varying degrees throughout. But if you can overlook the lack of polish, the acting and writing are surprisingly good and drive the movie along.

On the surface, this movie is about time travel, but, like all of the best time travel movies, it is actually about something else. The movie uses time travel to explore ideas of love, obsession, and regret, and does so in a way that I will be thinking about for some time to come.

It is hard to say more without giving spoilers, but I would recommend this movie to anyone who is willing to get passed the low production values in order to experience a really unique story.
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8/10
SPOILER ALERT! Writing a second review with all the spoilers!
Snootz24 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The first review I wrote was with no spoilers. But to discuss the minor flaws of the film one must dive into spoilers head-first, so be forewarned:

THE FOLLOWING IS SOLID SPOILERS:

While I found this movie to be quite good, there are a couple of inconsistencies that detract in the after-watch phase... that time when you're thinking about what you just watched and examining if it made any sense.

This movie made sense, but had two overall issues that were contradictory to the concept of the film. I'll mention the least-spoiling first:

1) When the time travel device was first tested, the recording made it appear the inventor was surprised and confused at the results and just slinked off camera (evidently to prepare to hide the evidence). In reality, considering how the machine functioned he should have in advance been totally aware of the expected results and worked immediately toward testing whether or not it was successful. The writer gave no indication of his travel "target" (that would have spoiled the plot prematurely of course), nor of any following studies that indicated whether or not his experiment was successful. The video made the whole thing seem somewhat like a dark comedy, giving no hint of what was to come. This seemed contradictory to the entire premise... but is a fairly small thing overall and can likely be ignored by the viewer as artistic license in order to drop the bomb shell later.

2) The big spoiler: there was little or no consistency of character between the manifestations of the "traveler". Where there should have been strong signs of similarity in personality there was none at all. While it could be considered that the traveler changed and matured with each travel, that would not account for a complete change in personality, with no carryover in mannerisms, voice accent, or traits. Including such might have added to the "clue list" and made the film more successful in the end. It definitely would have earned both director and actors more kudos in pulling off the concept better.

These two issues is why I gave the film 8 instead of 10 stars. Had the personality and traits been carried over a bit better (and intentionally)-- and had the "lost footage" video been more believable, this might have been a much better film. I could actually see this done as a major big-name picture with a touch better directing and all the cracks filled-in. That would be very much worth seeing.

As it is however, considering the low budget nature of this film, they really did very well with a unique and successful plot concept.
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7/10
Suprise
mark76-606-97774220 August 2018
Low budget, but the story pulls you in and lets you enjoy the journey.
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7/10
Cerebral story not for everyone
bergenboy4 November 2020
Where it lacks in big budget special effects, it makes up for in suspense. Just when you think "what the hell is going on", it leaves you with "now it makes sense". It's cerebral. If that type of story isn't for you, then you won't get it.
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7/10
A complete surprise
Sergiodave23 October 2020
If you watch this movie, try to forget about the average acting and very low production costs. Just let the story unfold, you might be in for quite a surprise. I thought most ideas for time travel movies had been done, I was wrong. This movie had me thinking about for hours after it ended. Well done.
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Disturbing horror show...
softpineswhisperinthebreeze21 February 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The story was engaging, at first. The fact that it was low-budget didn't matter. They made great use of what they did have and could afford, in that regard. The acting was also pretty good. I liked the background music and sound effects.

But, then it took an unexpectedly creepy turn. The time travel wasn't bodily, it was mental. So, it amounted to your consciousness stealing another person's body. That alone would've been eerie enough. But, it didn't stop there. The main character is a straight woman and her female friend was in love with her. Of course, it could never work romantically. But, rather than get over it and appreciate the friendship, the female friend went back in time, stealing a man's body and then had a relationship with her friend under false pretenses of actually being that man. That didn't work (no surprise, considering the circumstances), and so she then stole the body of her friend's boss and hung around as him for a while. But, being her boss wasn't enough to satiate her desire to be close to this woman, so she then stole the body of the woman's toddler son. The movie ends with the poor woman, standing mouth agape, looking back at her toddler son, whose body was just stolen by someone who was supposed to be her friend and turned out to be an obsessive stalker à la Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

In all honesty, this is the most disturbing movie I've ever seen. The acting was good, the effects were great, considering the low budget. So, I wish I could rate this higher. But, the plot was so filled with so much mental and emotional violation that watching it made my skin crawl more than it ever has before. It left me feeling absolutely disgusted, and that warrants a low rating. I mean, imagine saying "no" to a friend who is in love with you, and instead of having them move on and accept just being friends, they steal someone else's body to trick you into going to bed with them, then stealing your boss' body to get close to you, then the body of your toddler child... I'm surprised that this wasn't listed as a "horror" film where I found it, because it's definitely a "horror" film. It has science fiction aspects to it, but the sheer level of mental and emotional violation propels it, very clearly, into the "horror" genre. If you want to feel disturbed, by all means, watch this. If you're looking for an interesting, mentally-stimulating science fiction film with time travel in it, look somewhere else. This doesn't so much stimulate the mind as it does screw with it. I'm really sorry I even watched this. The worst part was, it wasn't clear how disturbing this was until the very end of the film. So, I didn't even know to shut it off. -- And, I absolutely would've shut it off if I'd have known. What a disturbing plot line! I wonder about the sanity of whoever came up with it. Really. What kind of person could think up something so twisted?
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5/10
Slow moving (VERY slow moving)
pariszone24 May 2020
One would think if one had any control over time whats-so-ever, one could have used those powers to speed up the movie just a tad. It crawls along at less than a snail's pace.

Honestly, I am only 1/2 way through the movie and already it seems I have been watching it for an eternity. Hopefully something eventually noteworthy happens.

Since I've yet to see the end, there are no "spoilers" involved here but based on what I've seen so far, I am guessing it will meet the two criteria of a "chick flick". 1. Nothing much happens during the movie. 2. One of the main "nice" characters must die in the end.

Again... That is just a mid-movie prediction... not a spoiler.
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