Thursday, November 7, 2013
Lost in Time
It's not a bad movie. It's not really a good movie. Maybe if a viewer had somehow remained completely unaware of the UFO abduction sub-genre, it would be better. I don't know. Along the way, writer-director Scott Stewart shovels references and homages to other movies, from E.T. to Close Encounters of the Third Kind to Poltergeist, into the mix. And those are just the Spielberg moments.
A suburban family under financial pressure because of the architect-father's inability to get work and the real-estate-agent mother's inability to sell a house starts experiencing spooky things at home. Their youngest son reports talking to a mysterious being he calls the Sandman. In an homage to Poltergeist, someone or something does some physics-challenging furniture rearrangement at night. Nose bleeds, black-outs, and lost time start to occur. Somebody raids the refrigerator. Yes, aliens have arrived, doing those things aliens have been doing since the 1950's. Can this suburban family defend itself against invasive aliens with magical technology?
J.K. Simmons is pretty much wasted in the role of Basil Exposition, while the child actors are competent and the actors playing the parents, Felicity's Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton, are also fine. The movie is competently staged and shot. Meanwhile, the aliens acquire a bewildering array of powers by the end of the film -- they're pretty much the Swiss Army Knife of monsters. Only the ending surprises in any way. But hey, at least it's not a found-footage film! Lightly recommended.