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Film / Time Trap

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Time Trap is a 2017 sci-fi suspense film about a a pair of graduate students, a friend, her sister, and her sister's friend who search for an archaeology professor after he disaparared while looking for some hippies who disappeared forty years ago.

The film premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival on May 19, 2017.

Trailer is here

Minor unmarked spoilers below

Time Trap provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Furby to Jackie.
  • Adult Fear: Furby mentions this how angry his mother will be with him and his friends, after they left to go into the cave and disappeared for several days. From his perspective.
  • After the End: When Cara climbs out the of the cave, she emerges onto a desolate wasteland with a wall of dust approaching her. She also has trouble breathing and is constantly shivering. Whatever happened to Earth, it was not pretty. This is especially jarring because when they entered the cave, they were in the wilderness surrounded by nature.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Furby's mother is willing to advertise her son's auto-erotic activities to his female friend, said friend's sister, and a couple of college kids she just met.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Furby's video documentation shows that time is passing far more quickly in the outside than in the cave.
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  • Armor-Piercing Question: When they see Furby's Apocalyptic Log, the gang is initially skeptical about the passage of time, thinking that Furby is playing a joke on them, but one of them raises the obvious objection: Furby's dead; how can it all be a joke?
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Fountain of Youth can cure anything, including death. Too bad that, in order to get to it, you'll have to spend enough time in the cave it's in for millennia at least to elapse in the outside world. And that's assuming you survive the people who came in before you, who are anything but helpful.
  • Ax-Crazy: The cavemen. Their immediate reaction to finding a helpless, injured child lying on the ground? Snap his neck! They serve as the human antagonists late in the movie.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Cara tries to climb out of the cave, she breaks down in tears and frantically tells Taylor to get Veeves away. Viewers who are familiar with the film's premise might guess that she has seen a clue as to the rapidity of time passing by, such as watching the sun speed across the sky multiple times. In fact, what she sees is Furby's body.
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  • Big Damn Heroes: Cara uses these mechanical tentacle things to rescue Taylor, Jackie, and Veeves. Her allies also seem to be able to control the time dilation factor inside the cave.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Professor Hopper found his missing family, his sick little sister was fully healed, and the Ragtag Band of Misfits who looked for them are all alive and healthy. But they are over ten millenia from their own time, with no way back, and their family and friends in the past never knew what happened to them. To somewhat sweeten this, Taylor, Cara, Jackie, and Veeves spent a year or two in the distant future before the Hoppers and Furby were rescued, and will be able to help them adjust to life ten thousand years after their time.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Furby, who is barely thirteen, who attempts to flirt with Jackie, a graduate student.
  • Cassandra Truth: Prior to finding Furby's body, Taylor dismisses out of hand Veeves' insistence that there is no way Furby cut the rope. Later, when Taylor suggests the possibility of Time Dilation, with the flashing light being the sun speeding across the sky, Cara tells him that's the dumbest thing she's ever heard.
  • Cavemenvs Astronauts Debate: Not a debate; this actually occurs in the movie. The Astronaut wins.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • A literal gun, held by a cowboy that Professor Hopper first saw, frozen in place.
    • When Hopper first exits the cave, he finds his own Jeep as well as Cara's Jeep, which have been significantly overgrown with brush. this foreshadows that the time dilation is not a matter of days per second, but years per second; Hopper left the cave about thirty years after he entered.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Furby's mother implies that she caught him doing this.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: More like danger than actual evil, but Hopper's dog, Boss, wants absolutely nothing to do with that cave. Too bad his warnings are ignored.
  • Expy: Furby is one to Chunk. The others even lampshade this.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: The nature of the cave invokes this, and the ending has the modern-day groups that went inside become this, as they're now millenia in the future and the subject of intense interest from future humans.
  • Fountain Of Y Outh: Hopper's parents believed the Fountain was inside the cave system. The were right. It is used to revive Taylor and Furby after they are killed.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The camera does not show Furby's body after he fell nor does it show the caveman breaking his neck. It also cuts away when it shows the caveman killing Taylor.
  • Healing Spring: The Fountain of Youth is this. The center of the cave system, where the time dilation is densest, shows a waterfall with water gushing from it. Sprinkled throughout the cave system are residual water springs from the Fountain. This is used to heal Taylor and later Furby, and the cavemen are shown using the water to heal others.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Both Taylor and the explorer put their lives on the line to defend the rest of the gang from the cavemen. Fortunately, this is the point where we learn that the Fountain of Youth can bring people Back from the Dead.
  • It's Personal: It's revealed that the people Hopper was looking for weren't some random hippies, but his parents and sister. Additionally, his parents went into the caves not for some adventure, but out of desperation to heal their terminally ill daughter.
  • Kill the Cutie: Subverted. The gang discovers Furby's dead body beneath an opening in the cave. Fortunately, the Fountain of Youth can bring people Back from the Dead.
  • Metaphorically True: Jackie asserts the cave itself is the Fountain of Youth, since someone would age slower inside the cave than on the outside. Averted when they find the actual Fountain.
  • Neck Snap: How Furby is killed.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted, as Furby reveals in his Apocalyptic Log.
  • Our Humans Are Different: In the future, humans have evolved into 8 foot tall beings who can't breathe oxygen rich air anymore. In the far future, they have grown claw like fingers that can wrap around someone's head. Thankfully, they are nice.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Say what you will, but the team did come prepared, with good, sturdy rope to climb into the cave, and even a GPS tracker to call for help. Too bad they didn't count on the rope fraying and breaking from age due to the Time Dilation; neither did they count on ending up in the far future, when there would be no GPS satellites to receive their signal.
  • Shout-Out: To The Goonies, given just before the party enters the cave.
    • Also to "Star Wars", when they mention grabbing the astronauts "lightsaber" thing.
  • Time Dilation: Time inside the cave is slower than outside. From a vertical opening, the party could see the sun rise and set, implying that a second inside is a day outside. Or so they thought; examination of footage captured by Furby reveals that a second inside is about a year outside. It's even more extreme at the center of the cave, which seems to be as out of synch with the rest of the cave as the cave is with the rest of the world.
  • Time Is Dangerous: Actually downplayed. Sure, the cave is a guaranteed one-way trip to the far future, where everyone and everything you know is gone, but, unlike some of the other examples of this trope, the time difference doesn't shred anyone — just their rope.
  • Too Much Information:
    • Furby is prone to this, as he discusses his bathroom activities in his Apocalyptic Log.
    • He apparently gets it from his mother, who is all too willing to advertise his auto-erotic activities to his female friend, said friend's sister, and two college students she's just met.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: It is revealed that time is slower in the cave than outside. What is not revealed in the trailer is that a second inside is about a year outside.
  • Wham Line: "It's not just the sun; it's the seasons. This thing is the sun shifting on the horizon." "Oh my god you're right - that's not just one revolution, it's hundreds!" "Those are entire years. It's the solstice. That's the only thing that makes sense."
  • Wham Shot: The revelation that the time dilation factor is a year outside, second inside, meaning that they had been inside the cave for ten thousand years from the outside world's point of view.
  • What Happened to the Dog?: We never see what happened to Boss (Hopper's dog). Given a dog's natural lifespan, he would have died in less than ten seconds (from Hopper's perspective) though we do not know if Boss died out in the wilderness, or was rescued and spent the rest of his life in a loving home.
  • What Were You Thinking?: Taylor is asked what he expected to happen when he went after someone who had gone missing, who himself went after people who had gone missing.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The cavemen, who deliberately murder Furby, who is injured and helpless.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: Exaggerated. For every second spent inside the cave, a day elapses outside, as is shown by the days and nights passing every second when looking out of the cave opening. Or so we are initially led to believe. Furby's Apocalyptic Log shows the gang that it's not days, but years that elapse as the seconds tick by in the cave.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: A second inside is about a year outside, so the party is over ten thousand years in the future at the end of the movie, with no way home.

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