Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations (2009)

Note: This review is part of my coverage of Horrorfest III.

The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations

This is Butterfly Effect with an urban flavor, and an extra helping of gore. I don't think it's anywhere near as effective as the first Butterfly Effect movie, though. The whole serial killer idea is interesting, but the execution is weak. When you make a film about time travel, there's gonna be a heapload of time paradoxes. You can either ignore them or piece them together for a clever story. In this movie, they seem to ignore a lot of them, and the ones they do use, which they use to drive the whole plot idea, don't seem to be explained or pieced together very well. I dunno, it feels like a good idea, but it just doesn't quite work out that well.

The best part of the plot is the idea of having the character who can time travel using his abilities to become a freelance psychic helping the police close cases by traveling back and observing various murders. He can't interfere, of course, because that would trip the butterfly effect and screw everything up. Which is bound to happen, or else there wouldn't be a movie. Well, the character in question gets pushed into going back to solve the mystery of a murder close to him - that of his once-girlfriend - and he inevitably screws things up. Back in the future (present?), he finds that not only was he unable to prevent the murder, but he also seems to have created a serial killer. Why he doesn't just stop there is beyond me, but he seems to have an iron will to keep screwing things up worse and worse, thinking that one of these times he's gonna manage to fix things.

And that's where things kind of fall apart. There's an interesting twist at the end - I knew the identity of the serial killer would turn out to be significant, but I was still surprised - but it's hardly worth the ride. Besides, "this is so Scooby Doo"? Not a convincing serial killer. There are some pretty emotional turns which serve to reinforce the whole "changing the past is dangerous" idea, but honestly, just watch the first Butterfly Effect movie. It's far more...effective.

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