Lost Time (2014)
Director: Christain Sesma
Lost Time tells the age-old story of alien abduction, memory lapse and squishy noises. Director Christian Sesma loaded the 90 minute film with hallway walking, bright lights, grey tones, unnecessary hoodies and lots and lots of establishing shots. The biggest problem with Lost Time is that is never allows itself to have fun. It is a slog of a film and relies on melodrama when it should be venturing further into the land of weird. Thus, we are stuck with something that simply exists as opposed to something with a personality and beating heart.
The story revolves around a woman's hunt for her missing sister. One night terminally ill Valerie (Rachelle Vallesse, she also produced and wrote songs for the film) and her sister Melissa (Jenni Blong) are traveling home from a doctor visit when a bright light beams on them and Melissa goes missing. Four months later Valerie is cancer free and endlessly handing out "missing" flyers in attempt to find her sister. She is aided by her cop boyfriend Carter (Luke Goss) and she eventually finds herself in the sanctuary of missing time guru Dr. Xavier Reed (Robert Davi). From there things get weird as we are introduced to bald men (think Fringe), hallway walking montages (think WWE) and a guy who wears scarves and coats inside.
The idea of missing time and a weird sanctuary is actually pretty cool. However, instead of expanding upon interesting ideas Sesma spends way too much time on basically nothing. This is the kind of film where we see somebody turning on a shower, adjusting the heat then the camera moves up to show the water flowing from the shower head. The camera coverage is extensive and 100% unnecessary. It all becomes gloriously laughable as we watch a three minute scene involving generic heavy metal and five people getting their own sanctuary hallway walking moment.
I understand the constraints of micro-budget film making and I appreciate that Sesma managed to gather a solid cast of actors but he leaves them stranded in an endless maze of hallway walking and soul crushing dialogue. Nobody in Lost Time is likable so the audience never becomes invested in the overly dramatic proceedings. I recently watched a fantastic micro-budget horror film called Interior that filled its running time with a growing sense of dread and beautiful jump scares. Director Zach Beckler understood the need for solid characters and even though the budget was tiny the emotional reaction was huge.
Lost Time takes a cool idea and does nothing with it. Hopefully it acts as a learning experience for Sesma. His IMDb page shows he has been working steadily and has since reteamed with Luke Goss on Awol-72 and The Night Crew. Hopefully, he has learned to fill a movie with interesting subject matter and not 30 minutes of filler to pad the running time.