From the hazy realm of independent cinema, where creativity knows no bounds, comes a film so imaginative, witty, and downright bonkers it could only be Australian! Time Addicts is a mind-bending and uniquely funny experience brought to life by the producer of 2014’s The Babadook.
The story follows Denise (Freya Tingley) and Johnny (Charles Grounds), two lovable slackers living in present-day Melbourne. Their lives revolve around drugs, bickering, and playful debates over the validity of some of Johnny’s extensive scrabble-worthy vocabulary! However, their mundane existence takes a sharp turn when they find themselves in debt to their volatile drug dealer, Kane (Joshua Morton).
To settle their debt, Kane presents them with a proposition: break into a decaying stash house and steal a bag of mysterious drugs or lose their thumbs. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Denise and Johnny reluctantly agree to the raid. Little do they know how this decision will quite literally uproot their lives. Despite having been warned off trying the stash, Johnny, ever the risk-taker, decides to sample the new drug and promptly disappears into the past, leaving behind a bewildered Denise.
What follows is a narrative that weaves seamlessly back and forth throughout the decades. Writer and director Sam Odlum takes audiences on a wild journey through time, drugs, and existential crises, resulting in a film that’s equal parts perplexing and enthralling.
There are times when the film’s labyrinthine plot seemingly defies all logic, and more seasoned sci-fi viewers will undoubtedly find themselves questioning the intricacies of time travel in this universe. However, while Time Addicts may not adhere to traditional time-travel lore, the film clearly isn’t concerned with explaining the science; instead, it invites audiences to embrace the chaos and absurdity of the journey.
Odlum’s primary focus is on crafting an unconventional and emotionally resonant narrative. It’s a “fairytale for cunts” as Denise so eloquently puts it, and it revels in its audacious storytelling. By basing the majority of the action within the same house at different points in time, Oldum is able to use the sense of entrapment and claustrophobia to reveal the complex web of relationships and connections between the characters and different time periods.
The film’s strength lies in its ability to blend dark humour with genuine vulnerability. Grounds and Tingley deliver performances that strike a delicate balance between comedic and profoundly human. Their chemistry on screen is palpable, making the audience genuinely care about these flawed individuals despite their dubious choices and circumstances.
Odlum has created a unique and memorable cinematic excursion into the surreal. Time Addicts doesn’t play by the rules but thrives on its own terms, offering an entertaining and thought-provoking escape from the ordinary. If you’re in the mood for a mind-bender that’s both baffling and oddly endearing, Time Addicts is the ticket to a world where time is merely a suggestion, and laughter is the best coping mechanism.
TIME ADDICTS will be available on digital platforms starting November 27th. You can read our interview with the director Sam Odlum here, and an extended version can be read in the new issue of STARBURST available from November 30th.