CTRL Z Movie Review
Written by Charlotte Stear
Written and directed by James Kennedy
2017, 23 minutes, Not Rated
Edward Easton as Ed
Kath Hughes as Carrie
Katie Beresford as Sarah
Embarking on a short film of any genre is not an easy job, but embarking on a short film about time travel? That takes some guts. There isn’t a subgenre of film that gets picked apart more for plot holes and inconsistency. But here we have CTRL Z, a short movie with some guts, a short movie tackling time travel.
Meet Ed, a hapless romantic who has built a device that allows him to create a safe point, a point in time he can return to if he were to die. While having dinner with his friend Carrie, Ed tries to explain how his device works, but as the night progresses, it becomes apparent this is not the first time these two have had this exchange. Carrie soon gets to the bottom of what, or specifically who makes Ed return to this particular point in time.
First off, this isn’t just a science fiction movie, this is a sci-fi/horror/romantic comedy and all in just 23 minutes. Writer and director James Kennedy’s passion for genre films shines through with references to Stephen King, a somewhat must have nod to the Back to the Future series and an atmosphere and rapport between characters reminiscent of When Harry Met Sally.
CTRL Z will appeal to people for different reasons; gore hounds will enjoy the utterly bananas approach of how Ed goes back to his safe point and anyone of a sensitive disposition will be put at ease by the sharp as a tack script which gives immediate comic relief. Sci-fi nerds will revel in the dissection of the timeline and romance fans are sorted with a will they, won’t they storyline. All your bases are pretty much covered here.
Performance wise, it’s the main characters Ed (Edward Easton) and Carrie (Kath Hughes) that cement this film’s success. Easton’s portrayal of Ed is multi-layered; his goofy, nerdiness falters at times to reveal the genuine vulnerability of a man in love underneath it all. Carrie too is not just there for comedy value (though boy, she brings it) and in a short space of time you see a softness to her character that builds on the friendship between her and Ed. The script is fast paced so a duo that bounces off each other with ease was essential for any of this to work, luckily it does.
This is a crowd-funded project and the filmmakers have used the less is more approach using just the one diner setting to focus on delivering a really stylish looking film. But let’s not forget the most important part of any time travel movie, the time travelling device itself. In CTRL Z the device is a small box that expands for Ed to pinpoint his “safe point”, it’s cool as heck and a believable construction that wouldn’t look out of place in a big budget movie.
CTRL Z is a short film made for a big screen. It will work best viewed with a large crowd to soak in the reactions of those around you, so you can immediately break it down with the person you’re sat with. Let’s hope this is just the start for director James Kennedy, a full-length feature in this vein would go down a storm.
CTRL Z is doing the rounds at festivals at the moment and has its UK Premiere at the Discover Film Awards on March 31st. For more information, click here for updates and check out the trailer below.