The Visitor from the Future - FrightFest World Premiere Review
Director: François Descraques
Starring: Enya Baroux, Arnaud Ducret, Florent Dorin, Raphael Descraques
Written by: François Descraques
Produced by: Stéphane Parthenay, Robin Bopsflug-Vonier
Cinematography by: Matthieu Misiraca
Original Score by: Jimmy Tillier
After civilisation has collapsed due to an ecological disaster, The Visitor travels back in time to find Alice, whose father is building the nuclear power plant responsible for the upcoming catastrophe. Alice’s father must die or the world is doomed.
Time travel is such a wild albeit highly intriguing concept in philosophy and science fiction. The idea was explored in H.G Wells' 1895 novella ‘The Time Machine’. It was through his novella that Wells' adventure helped bring the theory of travelling through time and space into the mainstream consciousness. Since then the notion of time travelling has become embedded in pop culture through various mediums, most notably cinema. There’s been an assortment of time travel movies throughout the decades, multiple adaptations of Wells' novella to the blockbuster 1985 comedy ‘Back to the Future’ to the more art house flick ‘The Endless’ (2017) and many more. Now director François Descraques has crafted another sci-fi romp that once again explores the realms of time travel in ‘The Visitor from the Future’.
The film finds Alice (Enya Baroux) a young woman who is opposed to the impending construction of a power planet, which is an idea conceived by her own father (Arnaud Ducret). Her father is also a member of parliament. However when a weird and unusual visitor (Florent Dorin) takes her and her father to the year 2555 to show them the future destroyed by the explosion of the same power plant. It’s now a race against time and with the “time brigade” a police force from the future led by the ruthless Constance hunting them down to prevent any temporal change, Alice must try and achieve the impossible: to save the planet and her father.
One of the great things about this film is that director François Descragues injects such fun and pleasurable set pieces whilst retaining its serious narrative arc. Taking a leaf out of what we now know has become a staple of time travel movies, in which the film like many others employs the scenario of having our heroes travelling throughout time to change/correct a situation that will help stop or improve something in the present. Based on the web series from 2009-2014, the film adapts its zany but highly likeable approach of preventing many disasters and it makes for such an entertaining picture.
The film plays with a lot of genres, as well as paying homage to other pictures that have come before it, particularly other sci-fi movies from great filmmakers like George Miller, Ridley Scott and even George A Romero. Descragues’ comedic approach works tremendously well here. The characters misunderstandings or frustrations help make for some of the film’s most funniest moments. However the film does have a heart and it’s with these scenes that the film’s moral themes really come firmly into focus and make us think.
The cast is excellent. Enya Baroux is fantastic as Alice. She’s able to convey a headstrong young woman with an agenda but she’s very capable of really losing herself in emotional turmoil with her father. Florent Dorin as the Visitor is one of the great highlights of the film. His quirkiness and wit at times reminded me of Christopher Lloyd’s portrayal as Doctor Emmet Brown. There’s even subtle echoes of David Tennant's Tenth Doctor. His ability to interplay between comedic and sincere moments is fantastically played here. The rest of the cast do a fine job and add a certain degree of class with their parts.
The film's cinematography is amazing as a technical achievement. The future sequences are well shot and lit. There’s certainly echoes of ‘Mad Max Fury Road’ and Romero’s ‘Land of the Dead' hidden within the framework. The idea of an ecological disaster striking and creating a world consisting of dark green/yellow stained colours is something that cinematographer Matthieu Misiraca understands perfectly. The score by Jimmy Tillier is excellent. His work really hits all the right notes (no pun intended) in regards to the comedy and drama aspects of the film.
Overall ‘The Visitor from the Future’ is a cinematic delight. It’s zany comedy and apocalyptic themes we’ve seen many times before but here they work extremely well. The film pays homage to what came before and Descragues, while crafting his own vision of the future, can't help but tip his hat to those who have inspired him as a filmmaker. The film will make you laugh, think and overall bring you on a hell of a ride.
- Joe Lennon
'The Visitor form the Future' received its World Premiere at FrightFest 2022 on August 25th