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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 disappears while he was himself looking for some hippies who disappeared forty years before.

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

The trailer is here.

Time Trap provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Middle schooler Furby immediately (and repeatedly) teases his interest in college student Jackie, who offers no comment.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Hopper is an archaeology professor and Taylor and Jackie are his students.
  • 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 was not pretty. This is especially jarring because when they entered the cave, they were in the wilderness surrounded by nature.
  • All Cavemen Were Neanderthals: The stone age humans are all shown stooped and grunting, but from a continent that has only had modern Homo sapiens.
  • 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.
  • Androcles' Lion: Though initially fearful of the future explorer, Cara bonds with him after she sees him healing Taylor, and she returns the favor by returning his weapon when he loses it fighting the cavemen and staying with him when his breathing mechanism is broken. The explorer repays her for the last part by revealing that she and her companions were declared missing and humanity left the planet while they were in the cave.
  • Apocalyptic Log:
    • Furby's video documentation shows that time is passing far more quickly in the outside than in the cave.
    • Furby also finds a diary in the hippies' van, explaining why they went to explore the cave.
  • 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?
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The explorer is helpless the moment his breathing equipment is disabled.
  • 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.
  • Back from the Dead: Turns out the Fountain of Youth can also do this in addition to curing any ailment.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Jackie is the character introduced next after Hopper and seems set up for main character status, only to injure her ankle in the climbing down and practically be demoted to The Load.
    • 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. Insted, she whas seen Furby's body.
    • Cara is seemingly pulled into the water by a monster when she makes out of the cave a second time. Then the monster gives her breathing gear, revealing that it's actually another future human and they are rescuing the group.
    • Bordering on Cat Scare, after some time getting hints that there may be a hostile presence in the cave, the group sees a crounching figure crawling towards them in the dark... and it's Jackie, who they left in another room.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Cara is protective of her younger sister Veeves.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Cara returns after some time outside and uses some fast future mechanical tentacle things to rescue the rest.
  • 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 some time in the distant future before the Hoppers and Furby were rescued, and will help them adjust to life millennia after their time.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Furby, who is barely thirteen, 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.
  • "Cavemen vs. Astronauts" Debate: Not a debate; this actually occurs in the movie. The Astronaut wins.
  • Cellphones Are Useless: There is no cell reception in the cave or the general area. The group has a GPS tracker, but when Cara makes it outside it has no signal.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • A literal one in the cowboy's guns, which are noted as soon as Hopper finds him. He uses one to fight the cavemen later.
    • Hopper ties one rope to a vertical entrance in case he needs to leave the cave through there, as he enters through another place. This rope is later used by Furby to enter.
    • Jackie and Hopper have identical backpacks, which are found by the other at different times, telling them they are near.
    • The hippies leave behind a diary explaining the folklore of the Fountain of Youth and some artwork related to it. Taylor finds the same symbols inside the cave, leading him to Hopper and the "super-super-slow" area near the Fountain.
    • The massive space station that Cara sees outside the cave. It shows in no uncertain terms that millennia have passed and humanity has left the planet, and it is where the main characters are taken to after their rescue.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Veeves constantly throws zings around.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Taylor finds a cavechild snarling next to her dead mother. The child then uses the Fountain's water to revive his mother and other cavepeople.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Hopper's dog wants absolutely nothing to do with the cave. Too bad his warnings are ignored.
  • Expy: Furby is one to Chunk. The others even lampshade this.
  • Faux Action Girl: Jackie is an archaeology student and trained climber whom Taylor doesn't see "as a girl", but she injures her ankle in the climbing down and nearly becomes The Load.
  • 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 Youth: Hopper's parents believed the Fountain was inside the cave system. They were right. It is used to revive Taylor and Furby after they are killed.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Furby's Apocalyptic Log includes a message for his mother where he says he's extra disappointed about his companions disappearing because he thought they wanted to be his friends this time, implying that there were other times he tried to reach out to people and was shunned. Unbeknownst to him, only Veeves, the girl who has known him since kindergarten, actually likes to have him around.
  • Gaia's Lament: Something happens at some point that causes apparently all plant life to die and the atmosphere to become unbreathable, prompting humanity to escape to Mars.
  • 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 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.
  • Hope Spot: Cara climbs out of the cave, only to see that most life (and oxygen) for miles around is gone.
  • It's Personal: It's revealed that the people Hopper was looking for weren't some random hippies, but his parents and sister. Additionally, they 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.
    • Furby mentions 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, anyway; in actual fact, from his mother's point of view he disappeared forever.
    • Building on the above example, the explorer's tech scans Cara and Veeves' faces and finds a (by then ancient) news item of their father appearing on TV begging for information about what happened to his daughters, who from his perspective had been missing for 14 days at that point. Sadly, of course, by the end of the movie it's clear that they never returned home and he lived out the rest of his life never knowing what happened to them.
  • My Car Hates Me: Technically averted, but nonetheless played with. The group takes the car keys inside despite leaving Furby outside with the cars, which renders them useless to him. Then by the time Hopper exits the cave, all car batteries are dead.
  • Neck Snap: A caveman kills Furby by snapping his neck after he falls into the cave.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted, as Furby reveals in his Apocalyptic Log.
  • Our Humans Are Different: In the future, humans have evolved into eight-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.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Downplayed Trope when Cara meets the explorer, who is decked in armor with its own breathing system and doesn't speak English anyway. She tries to keep him away from Taylor thinking he wants to hurt him, and he draws his taser-like weapon as a result, but he actually wants to use the water to heal Taylor.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Cara questions the plan to follow the hippies's abandoned rope by asking what if it's a trap, which Jackie and Taylor compare to The Goonies (in which a similar rope setup is a trap). The reference is lost on Furby, who has not watched The Goonies.
  • The Radio Dies First: Because of Time Dilation, it is impossible to maintain a radio converation with the outside. However, the radio works fine when both receptors are inside... until a caveman smashes one.
  • Red Herring: Taylor takes one of the cowboy's guns, noting that there are four bullets inside - one for him and each of his companions, and they think they can't leave the cave at this point. However the issue of suicide never comes up, and Taylor doesn't fire the gun at all. He finds Hopper with the other gun and he uses that to fight the cavemen, however.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons:
    • Cara's aforementioned comment about the rope leading to a trap. It does lead to a trap (the titular Time Trap) but the rope was not placed there with that intention.
    • Furby finds a more recent rope in a different entrance, identifies it as Hopper's and berates his companions for missing it. This rope was indeed placed by Hopper, but as a backup, and he used a different entry to the cave.
  • Scylla and Charybdis: At the end, the group is pushed between facing angry cavemen chasing them or exiting the cave through a hole that is covered by water on the outside. They try their luck with the water and a monster grabs the first... but it's actually a future human that wants to help them.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Plucky Comic Relief Furby bails after seeing spiders in the cave's entrance, which means he doesn't enter with the others. And when he tries to follow after waiting for days outside, he is killed.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To The Goonies, given just before the party enters the cave.
    • Also Star Wars when they mention grabbing the explorer's "lightsaber" thing.
    • Veeves calls the cavemen "psycho Flintstones."
  • Smarter Than You Look:
    • The cavemen know the properties of the water despite being down there, from their perspective, for several hours or a few days at most, and one figures how to disable the explorer's futuristic ladder after seeing the main group using it.
    • Despite appearing silly and cowardly in the beginning, Furby is the one who finds Hopper's rope after the rest of the group goes in the cave, reasons that everyone must be dead when they don't answer his calls for over a day, and tries to climb down Hopper's rope in a last-ditch attempt to get his keys and start his car in order to return to civilization (which implies that he can drive to some extent despite being 13).
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: The explorer sees the main characters right away but his first reaction is to ignore them. He does not carry guns, and fights the cavemen with a gadget similar to a taser and another that immobilizes people to the ground and tranquilizes, instead of killing them.
  • Time Dilation: Time inside the cave is slower than outside. From a vertical opening, the party can see the sun rise and set, implying that a second inside is a day outside. Or so they think; 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 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.
  • Time Stands Still: What the interior of the cave looks from the outside, but it's actually subverted. Time still flows inside, but so slowly it would be only noticeable by making observations every few years.
  • Time Travel: The main characters discover that since they have been placed in a state of suspended animation, they are rapidly going forward into the future.
  • 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.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Hopper enters the Time Trap while looking for some missing hippies actually his parents and sister and the main group do while looking for Hopper.
  • 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 closer to ten thousand years from the outside world's point of view.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never see what happened to Boss, Hopper's dog. Given a dog's natural lifespan, he would have died in a few seconds from Hopper's perspective though we do not know if Boss died out in the wilderness, or made it out of there on his own.
  • 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.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Furby bails out as soon as he sees some spiders in the entry to the cave.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The cavemen, who deliberately murder Furby, injured and helpless, and chase Hopper's sister who is even younger.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Taylor and Hopper watch as a cavechild revives the dead tribesmen so they can kill them, instead of shooting her too.
  • 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. It's not days but years that elapse as the seconds tick by in the cave.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: The party is over ten thousand years in the future at the end of the movie, with no way home.

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