Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Time's Up: Movie Review

It’s New Year’s Eve in a cold, small town. A high school student has recently committed suicide; the teachers are having a party. Some of them, namely Jacqui (Hannah Fierman), are very concerned about how it happened, how it could have been prevented, and what role they each played in that student’s life to make him end it. The rest of the teachers don’t care, they repeat the platitudes like “nobody could have seen this coming” and “he’s in a better place now”.   2022

Directed by: L.C. Holt

Screenplay by: L.C. Holt

Starring: Damian Maffei, Hannah Fierman

Time’s Up has a really strong beginning – a score that grabs your attention and striking photography that suggests this is a more professionally polished film than you might be expecting. It’s a good premise with a lot of interesting ideas that can neatly fit within a horror movie, but then it all just slowly falls apart. The characters at best are just awful people, at worst they make no sense with every jump in the action being incongruous to how they were previously understood.

We know from the plot description that a serial killer is hunting these teachers. Most of the teachers are so dumb that I’m not convinced they ever figured that out. Early on they receive this weird package delivered anonymously at the front door, it leads them on a scavenger hunt with most clues presented in blood (that really should be their first hint that things aren’t good), and two alpha male teachers (at least one is a gym teacher) come across a dead body – a student has just been gruesomely slaughtered. Guess how they react? Sorry unfair question, it’s hard to even describe how they react because it’s very un-human-like. Personally I think most people would either scream for help, collapse and go silent from shock, and then call for police and/or others if they have just discovered a dead body. Not these teachers. One starts freaking out because the kid that was killed was friends with his daughter, so his immediate reaction was “we have to find Heidi.” he had zero concern for the dead body in front him. The other also had zero concern for the dead body in front of him and very calmly concluded that there’s something else out there and they should find it.

Most of these problems all stem from really bad acting. This is an independent movie with understandably inexperienced actors, but unfortunately, the poor acting from everybody in the movie really detracts and every awkward line of dialogue is magnified.

Time’s Up is a slasher horror and the body count starts early and starts violently and it never lets up, so if that’s your thing the movie delivers. For those of us looking for a thriller that had something to say about the role of teachers in a student’s suicide, this isn’t it; unfortunately any message gets lost amongst the awful characters and bad acting.