Once you’ve decked the halls, trimmed the tree and located the Elf’s newest hiding spot, kick back, relax and share a family movie night with an Austin-inspired, science fiction film.
Set and filmed in Austin, ‘Time Trap’ combines the kids-go-missing-in-the-woods premise with Spielberg’s science fiction wonder years. With ‘80s-themed special effects, classic sci fi thrills and a modern futuristic storyline, ‘Time Trap’ is a time travel adventure flick that relies on its imaginative, creative storyline and surprise ending to capture and hold the audience’s attention from beginning to end.
Directors Ben Foster and Mark Dennis, both Austin School of Film alumni, set out to make a low-fi film that would, aesthetically, pay homage to their ‘80s classic favorites, such as ‘The Goonies’, ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘E.T.’
As Dennis says, “We really wanted to make the kind of movie we watched a million times as kids. If I walk into a room and ‘Terminator 2’ is playing on a TV, I am committed to finishing it because 10-year-old me still gets hooked”.
‘Time Trap’ follows a group of students, led by Reiley McClendon (‘Pearl Harbor’, ‘The Fosters’) and Cassidy Gifford (‘God’s Not Dead Yet’, ‘The Gallows’) searching for their missing archeology professor, Andrew Wilson (‘Bottle Rocket’, ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’). On a side note, Andrew Wilson is a native Texan and older brother to Luke and Owen Wilson. The group traces the professor to a mysterious cave in central Texas where time passes differently underground than it does on the surface. When the students become trapped inside the cave, they find themselves caught in the crossfire between two eras of humans battling for the most coveted urban legend in human history: the Fountain of Youth.
Moviegoers will enjoy the departure from the digital special effects that can outshine the storyline of some modern movies. The audience follows the characters as they explore and unravel the mysteries of the space-continuum cave and the twists and turns during their journey.
Dennis drew inspiration from the underground caves near his hometown in Austin, Texas that he frequented growing up. Shooting in caves proved a big challenge, however. “A remote location has to have all the amenities brought in and then taken back out daily,” said Dennis. “An actor or key crew member needing to use the restroom can turn into a half hour delay, which is why we stopped allowing water on set after the first week.”
Using equipment Dennis and Foster already owned, this low-budget film (Dennis calls it “a popcorn movie for all ages”) doesn’t rely on big-name actors, exotic cars or perfectly coiffed aliens to resonate with its audience. Rather, the ‘Land of the Lost’-themed setting and the spunky, inquisitive actors, combined with the pair’s creative ingenuity, make ‘Time Trap’ a uniquely, exciting, thrill-filled movie.
With its message that no matter what mistakes you make in life, if you surround yourself with the right people, you can still have a happy ending even if it’s not the one you were hoping for from the start, it can be enjoyed with the family during the holiday break.
‘Time Trap’ is available now On Demand. Recommended age 8+.
Austinite Lisa Davis is the Editorial Assistant at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and a student at Concordia University-Texas.