Sunday 10 July 2022

REVIEW: Madelines (2022) - Starring Brea Grant, Parry Shen and Richard Riehle

Review by Jon Donnis
With a short run time of less than 80 minutes, I was pleased to see that there was no messing about at the start of the film, no stupid set ups, no long character development, just straight into what you came to see. Madeline (Brea Grant) and Owen (Parry Shen) have found a way to invent Time Travel. They conduct experiments in their garage funded by private investor, Rory Devonshire (Richard Riehle) who hopes to one day make a fortune from Time Travel. They manage at first to successfully send an orange into the future, just a short distance, enough that they can watch the orange disappear, wait a minute, and it re-appears, after a failure with a small pet, and an argument with Owen, Madeline figures things out and puts herself in the machine. So far so good.

Madeline travels to the future, and after an hour re-appears in the garden. The problems begin the next day when Owen is attacked by Madeline, he accidentally kills her, but wait, Madeline walks out of the house. They soon realise that there was a mistake in the code, and 3600 Madelines will appear in the garden, one per day, for the next 9+ years.

Due to everything they know about time travel, two identical people cannot exist in the same space time, or the universe will implode or something, so they decide that each day they will kill the appearing Madeline, and that must be the reason the new Madeline had tried to kill Owen.

As the number of dead Madelines mounts, an accident occurs where Owen kills the original Madeline. Now him and Madeline 51 will team up to deal with the Madelines! Confused yet?

I won't say much more as it will spoil the film, but if you can ignore the confusing science, this is a pretty decent film, clearly made on a low budget. And by low budget I mean lower than your normal B movie.

This film reminded me of some of the silly sci films made in the 1980s, Weird Science for example. It is just a shame they didn't have a bigger budget for Madelines, as I thought the 3 characters that appear on screen were all really well played. The film is well shot, directed really good despite clearly only having one camera, and limited locations. The special effects are dodgy as you might expect, but not terrible by any means. I never rolled my eyes at the special effects at all.

The Good
A silly but fun film that is punching above its weight in every sense. It should not be a good as it is. Brea Grant, Parry Shen and Richard Riehle are all excellent and do the very best with what they are given.

The Bad
A little more effort could have been made regarding the science, and explaining how it was supposed to work. Perhaps it could also have worked as an hour long Horror Short instead of an 80 minute full film.

This film shouldn't have worked, but it did. I really enjoyed it, it kept me interested throughout, performances were all good.

Keeping in mind the budget and limitations that the cast and crew had to work with, I score Madelines a solid 8.5/10.

Review by Jon Donnis

Out Now on Apple TV -