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Time Trap is a 2017 American science fiction action adventure film directed by Ben Foster and Mark Dennis. Starring Brianne Howey, Cassidy Gifford, Olivia Draguicevich, Reiley McClendon and Andrew Wilson, it tells the story of group of students in a remote area of Texas searching for their missing professor. They then discover a mysterious cave by accident. While exploring the cave, the group experience a series of bizarre and dangerous events related to time and space distortion.

Time Trap
Time Trap poster.jpg
Directed by
Produced by
  • Mark Dennis
  • Ben Foster
Written byMark Dennis
Music byXiaotian Shi
CinematographyMike Simpson
Edited byScott Smith
  • Pad Thai Pictures
  • Filmsmith Production & Management
  • Rising Phoenix Casting
Distributed by
Release date
  • May 19, 2017 (2017-05-19) (Seattle International Film Festival)
  • November 2, 2018 (2018-11-02)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States


Hopper, an archaeology professor, is exploring a remote cave system on the trail of missing Hippies from the 1970s. After discovering what appears to be a cowboy paused in place in a tunnel, he returns to town and dismisses his graduate students, Taylor and Jackie, stating that their research is done.

Several days later, Hopper has not returned and Taylor is worried about his safety. Taylor and Jackie decide to look for him, along with their friend Cara, who is watching her sister, Veeves, and her sister's best friend Furby. They follow Hopper's trail to the campsite near the cave, finding an entrance with climbing ropes leading inside. They decide to follow it but Furby chooses to stay behind as backup for the base camp.

The group lowers themselves into the cave system and encounter strange noises. When Furby does not answer their radio calls, Jackie tries to climb back out, but her rope frays and she falls, injuring herself and Taylor. Calling for help, they receive a transmission from inside the cave and follow it.

At a different junction, they discover an overhead opening to the cave and Furby, dead with a broken neck. In watching his video recordings, they notice that several days elapsed from his perspective, while only a few minutes had lapsed in the cave. His recordings show that he began researching the hippies' belongings, discovering that they were actually Hopper's parents, and that Hopper is searching for his missing sister. His parents were following legends of the Fountain of Youth and speculated that this cave system was the root of the myth. After several days, Furby descended into the cave to retrieve keys for a vehicle, but fell when his rope severed.

Taylor theorizes that the cave is inside a time distortion where events move more slowly. With few options, Cara free-climbs out of the cave in order to get a GPS signal. Outside, the terrain has become barren and she cannot get a signal. After returning to the cave, her companions compare video recordings, confirming Taylor's theory. They then review Furby's footage once again and learn that he survived the fall only to be murdered by a Caveman. Cara and Taylor deduce that the time difference is much more drastic than they suspected, and that entire years are passing within seconds, meaning the few hours they've been in the cave is enough to span several hundred or thousand years outside.

Hearing more howling, Cara prepares to climb out again in search of help but is interrupted by a futuristic humanoid spaceman descending via a retractable ladder. A caveman suddenly attacks, but the spaceman subdues him non-lethally. The group flees, finding a tribe of cavemen inspecting the dead bodies of the cowboy and Hopper's parents. Discovered, Taylor fights the cavemen and is killed in the process. The spaceman returns and protects the others from the cavemen, then places Taylor into the pool of water, which heals him. More cavemen attack and the spaceman is fatally wounded, but uses his dying breaths to show the group a series of media clips, explaining their disappearance and indicating that humans have become a spacefaring race.

Taylor finds Hopper injured in front of another time dilation, containing Hopper's long-missing sister along with a legion of Conquistadors in battle with the aborigines for the control of a waterfall at the center of the cave system. Hopper explains that the field is strongest here, making rescue of his sister impossible from within the melee; he tells Taylor to go and save the others, as he is also dying.

The group prepare to leave the cave using the spaceman's ladder through the overhead opening. However, the cavemen attack before they can get through; Cara is pulled through the portal by grey-clawed beings before she can help her friends. From their perspective, she reappears through the portal, differently dressed and accompanying rope-like mechanisms which pull her friends through.

A short time later, Furby awakens, revived along with Hopper and his family, having been retrieved from the cave. The others arrive, happily explaining that they are in the far future and have a lot to talk about.


  • Brianne Howey as Jackie
  • Andrew Wilson as Hopper
  • Cassidy Gifford as Cara
  • Reiley McClendon as Taylor
  • Olivia Draguicevich as Veeves
  • Max Wright as Furby
  • Hans Marrero as The Guardian
  • Rich Skidmore as Rich Pintauro
  • Chris Sturgeon as Hopper's Dad
  • Sofie Marie Lusitana as Guardian Girl


The film was initially conceived as found footage.[1] Shooting took place in Texas. Co-director Mark Dennis cited 1980s films, such as the Indiana Jones films and The Goonies, as an inspiration, in particular those films' focus on practical effects, characters, and plot. Setting the film in a cave came from both growing up in Texas, where caves are plentiful,[2] and from The Descent. The premise came from a long, cross-country trip that Dennis took. When he returned to the United States several years later after having been out of touch with his friends, he was surprised by how much had changed.[3]


Time Trap premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival on May 19, 2017.[1] It was released to video on demand on November 13, 2018.[3]


Based on 8 reviews, the film holds a 63% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[4] Gary Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times described the film as "a handful of intriguing ideas in search of a more cohesive and dimensional narrative".[5][6]Though labeling it a good film, Roman Morales of Ain't It Cool News wrote that the film's pacing and excessive exposition keep it from being great.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Erbland, Kate (2017-05-19). "'Time Trap' Trailer: Space and Time Rip Apart at Seams in First Look at Mind-Bending New Sci-Fi Adventure — Watch". IndieWire. Retrieved 2019-09-17.
  2. ^ Martinez, Kiko (2018-11-21). "Breaking Out: Filmmaker and San Antonio Native Mark Dennis on His New Sci-fi Adventure Time Trap". San Antonio Current. Retrieved 2019-09-17.
  3. ^ a b Whittaker, Richard (2018-11-09). "Triggering a Time Trap". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-09-17.
  4. ^ "Time Trap", Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved 2018-12-16
  5. ^ Goldstein, Gary (2018-11-01). "Review: 'Time Trap' not nearly the sci-fi adventure it could have been". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019-09-17.
  6. ^ White, Danielle (2019-11-09). "Time Trap". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-09-17.
  7. ^ Morales, Roman (2018-11-12). "V Falls Into a TIME TRAP". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved 2019-09-17.

External linksEdit