Relax, I’m From the Future. So What Can Absolutely Go Wrong (or Get Right)?

Luke Higginson’s movie doesn’t borrow a lot from the well known flicks of yesteryears. Instead, Relax, I’m From the Future plays with the tropes differently.

I'm From the FuturePlaying at the Victoria Film Festival
Odeon 2, Feb 8th, 8:30pm (limited tickets left at the door)

Casper (Rhys Darby) is from the future, and he’s out to change history just a little …. or a lot! However, in Luke Higginson‘s expanded version of his short film, Relax, I’m From the Future, what he’s altered has ramifications to more than the lives of those he met. It’s also about preventing that world he left from happening. For those curious as to where this movie will screen next, please visit the official Facebook page.

Many fans of this genre are aware these tales concern cause and effect. This time traveller is after Percy (Julian Richings), and it’s not because this down-and-out punk rock artist is ready to end his life. To interfere must mean something. Fans of this British-Canadian actor know him best as Death from The CW‘s Supernatural and depending on how well one knows his vast filmography, he’s a much loved character actor. I think seeing him in a non-enigmatic role is a huge sell.

The cat-and-mouse rigmarole is multifold. Another time travelling enforcer arrives and she (wonderfully played by Janine Theriault) is here to fix those incursions before they spiral out of control. Anyone who crosses her path is disintegrated in Terminator style fashion.

As a result, they’re mostly dashes of flavour to let us know that these independent works still has to acknowledge where it’s inspired from. Those motifs are easy to spot, and where it goes it somewhere different, perhaps suggesting that we need to pay attention to world affairs, climate change and the usual threats to our planet.

Every movie is required to explain how time travel works and the rules should one go meddling. One of them is in how not to use foreknowledge to further one’s own gains. Even though the latter is violated, thankfully no one turns into a jerk like Biff in Back to the Future II.  I’m sure Casper doesn’t really care, because he’s not like a certain Time Lord. As for why he’s so casual about his entry to our century lives up to the namesake of this movie!

Relax I'm From The Future

This filmmaker is presenting a tale about why lives matter. Everyone is important than the select few, and I feel that’s the whole point of this story. When he befriends Holly (Gabrielle Graham), their relationship matters a lot more than finding Percy fast. Here, time isn’t of the essence, otherwise I’d be watching a much shorter movie. 

Higginson’s sci-fi dramedy is more about the accidental friendships made than preventing the coming apocalypse. As for how the illustrator gets affected when he learns about his future, what he discovers about achieving success is just as satisfying. But no time travel movie is worth their salt unless we get some big payoff. Unfortunately, all those big budget productions have taught some viewers to expect a huge, heavy special effects moment. When we’re dealing with modestly budgeted indie works like this, what we get is more low-fi, and a tease that there’s much more story to unfold. As for who will be the hero, that’d be spoiling too much.

What I saw is in how talented Darby is. From his hilarious entry as a would-be alien to his nutty professor saying, “Relax, I’m From the Future,” and later to Andy Warhol towards what he can do as a Messiah kept me snickering throughout.

4 Stars out of 5

The Short Film Version of Relax, I’m From the Future, can be found online 

Author: Ed Sum

I'm a freelance videographer and entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, Two Hungry Blokes, and Otaku no Culture) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology to popular culture to paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing "The Future" is my mantra.

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