Project Almanac was announced a couple years ago, but had its released pushed forward for unknowable reasons. So, what was intended to be a film that was 15 minutes into the future, is now 15 minutes into the past already, and a tired old concept is given to us in a time travel movie that feels incredibly dated.
David (Weston) is a teen trying to find something that he could use to sell for college fees, when he comes across an old experiment of his fathers. With the help of his friends he discovers that this is a time machine, and the group then make a pledge to only use the time machine together and for their own gain. However, things begin to go wrong when the present changes irreparably because of the groups actions.
The first strike against the movie comes when you realise that yes, indeed, against all hopes and predictions; this is yet another teens-using-found-footage movie. The only thing that makes it unique is the thin layer of time travel sprinkled on top, but the found footage angle remains as inane and useless as always, as the camera often would have no need to be present in scenes.
The freshest bits of the movie are when the teens initially are trying to satisfy their own desires and simply YOLO around as best as possible, and in that respect at least the movie was a bit honest, but as it dragged on I began wishing the worst on all of them, and it’s never a good sign when you as an audience member hope that all the protagonists die in interesting ways to enliven the entertainment you are watching.
Project Almanac doesn’t offer anything much for either the found footage genre or the time travel genre, and will almost inevitably be consigned to the dustpan of history, where it certainly belongs.