Denise (Freya Tingley) and Johnny (Charles Grounds) are a pair of good mates who are lovers of all things drug-related. Both Denise and Johnny are eager to get some more drugs, having recently run out and needing a quick fix. However, when it comes to finances, they’ve seen better days. When the pair visit Kane (Joshua Morton), a ruthless local drug dealer, he refuses to assist them any further, given their outstanding debt to him. Instead, he assigns them a simple job that can wipe out their outstanding balance. If they succeed, they’ll be back on good terms.
The job requires Denise and Johnny to break into an old, rundown home and steal a mysterious bag filled with a new kind of drug. Kane forbids Denise and Johnny from taking or using any of the new drugs in the bag. All they need to do is collect it and return it to him. What sounds like a simple task soon becomes challenging and filled with mysteries. Denise and Johnny break into the derelict house and successfully find the bag; however, it’s carefully guarded. They manage to steal the bag, but in a moment of temptation and desperation, Johnny smokes the new drug. Johnny finds himself in the past but still in the same home, leaving Denise all alone in the present, trying to unravel strange and unexplainable mysteries, one of which relates to her secretive past. Can Denise and Johnny find a way to escape the twisty nightmare they’ve entered?
Time Addicts is a thriller with solid sci-fi aspects. Sam Odlum directed the movie, which serves as his first feature-length film. There’s plenty to praise here, starting with the premise and concept. It’s different and fun- I can’t say I’ve experienced a time-travelling drug before in the cinema. Denise and Johnny, while a pair of daggy drug users are somehow still likable, especially whenever they interact with each other in the odd disagreement and banter. The opening is quick, fast, and promptly gets straight into the storyline. Once Denise and Johnny separate from one another, it’s impossible not to be curious but also eager to understand all the mysterious and unexplainable events fully.
Not only are the performances and the chemistry on-screen tremendous, but the location and designs are also excellent, particularly the house, where the story lingers for most of the film. When Johnny goes back in time, there’s strong creativity in the way we see the same house looking completely different, cleaner, and more colourful. The filming is also fun and creative. Because of the single location, there’s a strong sense of feeling trapped as a viewer. It feels like the characters are stuck in a maze, trying to figure out how to escape. Odlum captured this sensation perfectly through his camera shot sizes, angles and movements, especially those that slowly tilted. The costumes and styling for each character are also convincing and believable.
If you like a film with loads of twists and turns, Time Addicts doesn’t disappoint, but I must confess, there is a lot to get your head around. Some reveals don’t make complete sense, nor are they fully explained clearly. Some reveals appear out of nowhere with no warning and the lack of careful build-up through the story makes them feel random.
Overall, Time Addicts brings fresh concepts to the screen through a highly engaging storyline full of twists and turns. The story gets underway quickly, and viewers will instantly be baffled and curious to understand what’s happening. The visuals are great, and the primary setting of the house is terrific. With such a small cast, I’m delighted to say the chemistry among all the characters was excellent and believable. Sure, some reveals might come out of left field and are challenging to grasp fully, but in the end, you can’t deny what a fun trip this film is. If you enjoyed movies such as Triangle (2009) and can handle strong language, this is a must for your watch list.
Time Addicts (2023) is Available in Australian Cinemas from Dec 7th.