This entry will contain spoilers for Edge of Tomorrow.
I was talking to Chrischi last year about a certain thing I like in fiction. That thing is Time. It's not time travel as such, because that suggests some sort of control over the destination (like in Doctor Who, or Back to the Future). I enjoy those movies / TV shows that are more along the lines of mysterious things happening to the protagonists that are potentially related to weird things happening to time.
Groundhog Day, of course. Guy relives day over and over again. He doesn't seem to have any control over it and doesn't know what to do about it either. As far as I remember we never find out what actually caused it either. For the most part this is a funny / romance movie of course, not much in the way of scary that I like for that premise.
Død Kalm (X-Files episode). Chrischi and me were watching this, which caused our discussion. In the end the viewer gets a sort of scientific explanation for the accelerated aging process the ship and everyone on it is subjected to, but until then the episode is scary as hell IMO. Keep in mind though that I remember watching this one as a kid too. It was scarier back then.
Timescape (TNG episode). I remember this one fondly from watching as a kid. The crew encounter pockets of temporal disturbances (areas with time running faster / slower). Before they figure out what's going on the effects of these were really quite scary.
Time and Effect (TNG episode). I found this one while trying to find the episode above. Typical Groundhog Day setting, but still I liked it very much back then.
Mystery Spot (Supernatural episode). I watched a lot of Supernatural last year I think, getting up to date to the (then) most recent seasons. Again this is a Groundhog Day setting (it is kinda popular it seems). Considering that Dean dies over and over again it's quite hilarious, but gets more serious towards the end.
The Langoliers. Is it even time travel? I watched this many years ago and loved the premise. Airplane passengers find themselves in an almost deserted airplane and manage to land at an airport, that's also missing people. The explanation at the end is not exactly time travel, nor is it a parallel universe. It's just people getting out of sync with their time and being literally late. The movie itself isn't rated all that high, but the idea behind it (I assume it's based on a book) is awesome.
11/22/63 (Stephen King novel). Now this novel is far from perfect for me because it doesn't focus enough of the scary weird stuff. Most of it is about that guy living his life in the past. But there were some very cool themes:
- The idea that time doesn't want to be changed and tries to prevent it. The graver the changes the protagonist attempts, the tougher are the obstacles "fate" puts in his way to stop him.
- The reset that happens when he travels back again. And in combination with that, the slightly crazy homeless person he encounters after going back, who does not reset but seems dimly aware of him coming back. And don't even get me started on that yellow card that guy has on his clothes. Wasn't it a slightly different shade of yellow the last time the protagonist saw him?? (and later still, BAM, it's black. What does it mean??).
Edge of Tomorrow. Chrischi gave me his BluRay of the movie after we talked about this. It's Groundhog Day all over again, but with Zerg rushes instead of groundhogs. Even though the concept isn't innovative anymore I still enjoy finding out what characters make of it. Sadly towards the end the movie abandons the concept to make a run-of-the-mill action sequence. Then reintroduces it at the end as a Deus ex machina to make everyone survive, because clearly you can't have a proper ending to an American AAA action movie with the main characters dead. Also I never quite got why the General insisted on him being on the front lines in the first place.
And, yeah that's it. There's some of my favourite implementations of "weird things happening to time" in fiction.