If you’re a sci-fi cinephile looking to score some under-the-table psychedelics of the cinema world, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll assume that you fit into the description of a cinema junkie always on the hunt for that good reel. We will also go two steps further and assume that you probably have seen Predestination. If you’ve seen it, chances are you are a hard-earned age-old critic who justifies their harsh judgment of cinema with their experienced capabilities.
Either that or I am speaking (writing?) to a wanderer who was persuaded to watch Predestination by their friends and lived not to hate it. It’s hard to not hate Predestination given what a mind-fuckery it was. But it’s impossible to not love it (you can love-hate it simultaneously.)
Films Like Predestination
Predestination often shares a love and hate relationship with its followers. Many call it trash because it tries to over-accentuate the time travel niche into something morbid. Others are baffled by its twist and turns. Whether you loved Predestination or hated but loved it, we have 5 other films for you. Out of these 5, the last one will render your impression of Predestination from a quantum theory thesis to that of a pre-school nursery rhyme. Read on to find out what it is!
5/5 Time Lapse
Time Lapse is an indie sci-fi thriller in which Bradley D. King made his directional debut. You may know Danielle Panabaker as Dr. Caitlyn Snow from her journeys with the scarlet speedster, The Flash.
Time Lapse tells the story of Finn who lives with his girlfriend Callie and best friend Jasper in an apartment complex. Their world turns upside down when Callie discovers a polaroid photo engulfing machine (cooler way of saying camera hah!) in the apartment opposite to them. This apartment was owned by a certain Mr. Bezzerides. Apparently, the camera is set in such a position that it takes a photograph of Finn’s apartment’s living room every night at 8 PM. To add to the jizz, the camera is 24 hours ahead of me and you. Callie, Finn, and Jasper do what any sane person would when they discover a freaking time machine – get damn bets (gambling).
Things start to unravel in an unexpected manner when Jasper, Finn’s best friend invites the attention of some nasty bad people. (Like real drug dealers, loan sharks, the big bros, and whatnot.)
This film will set you in very quickly when you watch it. The chemistry between the two (I’ll let you guess which two) would easily sweep you in. The forbidden highs of the night would also forbid the trio to indulge in impulses (which they anyway do) that they totally shouldn’t as upheavals upon upheavals fall into their greedy wishes.
But not to worry the trio ain’t brain dead. They are smart, and that really sets the mood. Like, sets it in a manner that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Unlike Predestination, Time Lapse does not do time loops. What it does instead, is brain fuck (future telling).
4/5 The Infinite Man
The Infinite Man is an Australian science fiction film by Hugh Sullivan.
It tells the story of an eccentric yet decently dressed scientist Dean. Dean, contrary to the usual impressions left by most science maniacs, is actually a hopeless romantic. He is such a hopeless romantic, that he would go to any measures to recreate the perfect honeymoon he had with his girlfriend in the past. His romanticism breaks the bounds of even English poets, reaching the otherwise forbidden domains of time and space.
Dean’s effort in catalyzing the perfect weekend for his girlfriend leads him into a strange array of time loops, stacking one after another until you lose the last bits of your mitochondrial cells. (Or is it brain cells? well nevermind I already lost mine ;P )
The Infinite Man plot unravels as Dean, his girlfriend Lana, and Lana’s macho and self-proclaimed greek-god reincarnate Terry (who is an Olympic gold medalist but has brawns for brains) get stuck in the same space for god know how long. This happens after Dean captures the brainwaves of himself and Lana at one point in time to which he can go back like retrieving an old video file from your pc.
The film is eccentric, well-paced, and has fantastic storytelling. If you like the concept of time loops which is something Predestination may have grudgingly introduced you to then you can take my word for this one.
Originally titled Los cronocrímenes is a Spanish film that tells the story of a husband who finds a time machine and travels back nearly an hour back. Written by, directed by, and featuring Nacho Vigalondo. This film too has a time loop happening again and again like Predestination.
Hector is a man who is stuck in a causal loop. When he scans the forest behind his house set in the Spanish countryside using his binoculars he sees a woman undressing and exposing her breasts (Aha!). When his wife goes shopping he does what a typical always aroused middle-aged man would do, find the bare naked fairy. Upon doing so he is hit in the head by a figure resembling Jason from Friday The 13th. Except, he’s got bandages all over his face.
Timecrimes is a telling story. The film sets in with the eerie music and the thrilling hue of a horror film yet one can find relief in comedy every now and then. But more than anything, it is a thriller that engages you like nothing else. (Other than Predestination. Hahaha)
The mother of all quantum mechanics films. Coherence can be described a surreal psychological sci-fi thriller. The film is directed by James Ward Byrkit in his debut as a director. Unlike Predestination, this isn’t time travel. The film is based more on the multiple world interpretation theory, where quantum-natural things happen as a result of overlapping realities.
The film tells the story of eight friends in Northern California who reunite for a, well, reunion at the married Mike and Lee’s house. They do so on the same date as the day the Miller’s comet passes very close to Earth.
The film dives into the cinematic application of something known as quantum superposition. Fans of the Schrodinger’s cat would know of this term. To simplify it, this refers to the state of potential in which until observed the object is in two different states simultaneously. Strange events unravel as all the friends see weird things happening. Multiple realities exist simultaneously based on every single number of possible actions that the group can take. Which is, quintillions if not infinite.
Now, this is a film that would make you feel like a pre-school student when you watched Predestination. Primer is a cult classic. It is a 2004 American independent psychological science fiction film about two scientists who by accident discover a machine that can create two entry and exit points not in just space but through the fabric of time. The film collected the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.
Primer is known for being a film that accounted for its tremendous storytelling in a very minuscule budget. Usually, the lack of proper technology and funding makes for poor editing and photography which usually is not seen in most major production works. But for Primer, this low-budget indie vibe is exactly what gives it its cult following along with an unexplainable plot. The film is so complicated that it took me over 3 hours to watch it. That’s almost twice its original run time. What makes Primer so phenomenal is its story. Though Primer may not be for everyone.
While Predestination was a work by major studios, Primer is a rather indie artwork. Unlike Predestination, Primer does not milk-feed the audience with its plot. Hence, even if you are not a veteran cinephile who has seen enough mainstream films, you can still check out all the other 4 recommendations above. But, take a try and then tell us how you liked it!
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