Time travel has always fascinated me. When I was young I loved reading the “Suske en Wiske” comics, where a time travel machine was regularly used to help go on an adventure or help someone out. I might not read the comics anymore, but the idea of being able to visit the future or past and see what’s different from the time we live in is extremely compelling. Although I’ve seen quite a lot of movies which feature it, it turns out there are quite a lot of them which I have not seen yet. Time to change that as I’ve begun to slowly work my way through some of them, with this movie being the first.
Set in the 14th century, when the country is plagued by black death, it tells the story of the people living in a small village. One of the villagers has gone on a journey, but when he comes back he doesn’t have any good news. The plague is spreading and it’s only a matter of time before they will succumb to it. Griffin, a young boy who also lives in the village, regularly passes out and has vivid visions. It is decided that in order to save the town they need to create a spike of copper and place it on the great cathedral, which means a long journey. The visions of the young boy play a big part in that decision and he joins the company in order to guide them. He has a vision that they should dig a tunnel through the earth to end up on the other side. When they do so they end up in the 20th century.
Visually there is a lot of contrast in this movie, everything which is set in the past is filmed in strong, harsh black and white, which is almost a metaphore for the brutal times the characters lived in. The parts set in the 20th century have been filmed in color and that contrast heightens the impact. The style of the dream sequences/visions can best be subscribed as things you would see in music videos at the end of the eighties/beginning of the nineties, which can sometimes be very disorienting. As a whole though, this movie really works. Some might complain that there isn’t much of a culture shock when these men enter the 20th century, but this movie isn’t about that. These men have a mission they need to accomplish and things like a highway are dangerous obstacles for them to reach their goal. This a time travel movie that’s different and ,because of it, worth checking out.