David Raskin (Jonny Weston) has just been accepted into MIT, if he can find a further $20,000 to complete his registration. With no benefactor making themselves known, David has taken to rifling through his father’s old files in the hope that he may have had an idea before he died in a car accident when David was still young.
Incredulously, David finds blueprints for a temporal relocation device (or time machine to you and us) and, with the help of his friends and sister, goes about building the damn thing. David even manages to get closer to his high school crush as a result (who says being a nerd is bad for your sex life?). The group agree on a set of rules to try and ensure that nothing goes wrong. Then they win the lottery and go to a music festival, enjoying themselves as much as they can.
Of course, although the power of the machine only allows the group to shift back and forward in time over a short period, the changes caused by their trips create a ripple effect, or butterfly effect depending on your preference, and David realises that his attempts to sort things out only makes them worse.
Project Almanac is a lo-fi time travel, found footage movie that ticks all the relevant cliché boxes that those sub-genres demand. But at the same time, as well as having everything that would normally culminate in a dull, rerun of everything that these movies can sometimes stand for, we actually get a fun film. Consider a mix up of Chronicle and Back to the Future and you’re pretty much there. You actually like the characters, which is always a nice change when you get a young cast, the lo-fi aspect works in its favour, and overall it’s a pleasant surprise to realise that the running time has shot by. Sure, it does falter in certain aspects, as all time travel films do, but you can’t help but enjoy this.
This deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. It doesn’t purport to be big or clever, but it does over achieve. Go, grab it now.
Special Features: Alternate opening / Alternative endings / Deleted scenes
INFO: PROJECT ALMANAC / CERT: 12 / DIRECTOR: DEAN ISRAELITE / SCREENPLAY: JASON PAGAN, ANDREW DEUTSCHMAN / STARRING: JONNY WESTON, SOFIA BLACK-D’ELIA, SAM LERNER, ALLEN EVANGELISTA, VIRGINIA GARDNER / RELEASE DATE: JUNE 15TH