Altered Hours (also known as The Tomorrow Paradox) is a science fiction plucked straight out
of the mind-bending tradition of classic novels like Slaughterhouse-Five and Valis. The story
focuses on Will Parker, a self-medicating insomniac hooked on the latest street drug – Z. Z
promises a restful night’s sleep, but instead of sleeping Will finds himself displaced from time,
experiencing events that will happen in the future. Unfortunately for Will, that includes his own
interrogation for the disappearance of a girl he has not met yet. Part Memento, part A Scanner
Darkly, Altered Hours adds a fresh twist on the whodunnit mystery.
This is writer/director Bruce Wemple’s first feature length film, having previously written and
directed the short film Off Target. Altered Hours stars Ryan Munzert as Will Parker, Brianna
Ponzer as Michelle, and Rick Montgomery Jr. as Jay. Wemple’s screenplay weaves together a
linear story pieced together through non-linear events in a way that keeps audiences guessing
what exactly will happen next and how Will will use the knowledge gained through his frequent
trips to clear his name. However, each glimpse of the future seems to offer more wrinkles and
questions than answers.
The sets for Altered Hours are just the right level of dingy and drab when they need to be and
bright and nostalgic during its flashbacks. Munzert plays just the right amount of self-loathing for a
drug addict, never too maudlin but clearly pained. Montgomery Jr.’s performance as Z’s creator
Jay is a highlight of the film, echoing the same kind of mad scientist/kid-in-a-candy-shop energy
that Richard Attenborough gave Doctor Hammond in Jurassic Park.
Altered Hours has been collecting awards as it goes through the festival circuit, winning “Best
Feature” at the Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival in NYC. Fans of reality-warping sci-fi or
a solid mystery need to check out this film.
Screening Friday, 9/22 at 9:00 PM at the Unreal Film Festival!
Film Fest Preview: Altered Hours (The Tomorrow Paradox)
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