torsdag 14 januari 2021


What would you do if you could travel in a time machine. Would you travel into the future, or into a certain time period in history? I know exactly what i would do, i would travel back to the year of 1977, on July 22nd in America. That was the year and date, when Wes Craven´s cult horror classic fim The Hills Have Eyes premiered in cinemas across America, and i would have loved to sit in a cinema seat in 1977 and watch this film at the premiere. I know, i could probably have chosen to stop some historical tragedies, but we all know that if you try to do a big changes, it may cause problems in the future. Time machines have been brought up in many books, especially in the classic sci fi novel The Time Machine from author H.G Wells, published in 1895. I have not read the book myself, but a school friend of mine called Martin read this book and loved it, that he also have seen all the films made based on the book ( there are 3 films ). I have only seen one of the films based on the book, and that is the 2002 film known as The Time Machine, released in 2002. It has been quite a long time since i saw the film, i bought it on DVD back in 2003, but i do remember that i enjoyed the film, especially for the special effects and the cast of Guy Pearce, Orlando Jones and Jeremy Irons. The concept of a time machine also turned out to work perfect in the Terminator franchise, with some really powerful CGI effects with time travelling. It is not often these days you see films that includes time travelling, This is why i became curious about an independent film called Shifter, that i discovered among VOD releases. Not knowing much about the plot, except that this film was funded through on a campiagn on Indiegogo, the premise sounded interesting. Is this a sci fi horror film that should be seen by a larger audience, or is Shifter going to be forgotten easily ?

Theresa Chaney ( Nicole Fancher ) lives in the countryside, not having many friends or family members who are still alive. When her father was still alive, she used to take care of him. One project that Theresa have been working on for quite some time, is building a time machine, with parts from farm machinery, an old school desktop PC and a few science equations. To see if the time machine works, she let her cat Bernard, be the first candidate. It turns out that it actually works. So to test on a human, she let herself be the next candidate. Everything seems to work this time as well, until she discover later on, that something may not have gone as planned.

Since i knew very little about Shifter, i am actually a bit surprised. This is without a doubt a film with a very limited budget, but i do like some of the ideas around this film. This is not the typical time machine film that you might have seen before, by using a different plot than we are used to see. And whenever i see a film that tries to do something different, i have to applaude. Because we really need film makers who dare to go in a different direction. Shifter does have elements from time travel stories we recognize, but this film also have a different approach in this genre, and this is one of the reasons why i find this film interesting. This is a tragic film in many ways, since the main character Theresa have a very difficult time, handling her private life and her work as well. On top of that, she does not really know how to handle the choices she made by using the time machine that she built, and she can´t tell anyone about it. Actress Nicole Chancer gives us a portrait of a young woman, who clearly is having a hard time with herself. And the performance from Nicole feels fascinating, in a mysterious way. She is the character you see most in this film, while some few characters show up later on, who add some interesting details to the plot. The one negative thing i can say about Shifter, is that the time machine itself does not really look that great. I understand that the budget must have been limited, but i felt while i was watching this film, that this could probably have been fixed. Apart from that, Shifter do have some interesting ideas that includes time travelling, and leaves us with questions such as :- Should we really try and change the past ? Director Jacob Leighton clearly have an eye for telling a story, that does stand out in this genre. With the resources he had, i think he did a pretty good job. Shifter may not be for everyone, but if you appreciate interesting stories, you should give this film a chance.

Rating: DDD

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