Movie Number– 19
Title– The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations (2009)
Running Time– 90 minutes (“R”)
Director– Seth Grossman
Writer– Holly Brix
Starring– Chris Carmack, Rachel Miner, Kevin Yon, and Lynch Travis
(Originally an IP Movies Review)
The Butterfly Effect series is an interesting one, but not for the right reasons. The first movie stands alone as a solid title, with Ashton Kutcher delivering a surprisingly nice performance, and a story that holds together well. The second film was a useless flop that shouldn’t have been created because the story was not nearly fleshed out enough, and the pacing was painfully slow; the sequel had nothing to do with the first movie except the theme of time traveling. Revelations, the third and hopefully final film of the trilogy, also has nothing to do with the first two movies, but unlike The Butterfly Effect 2, at least Revelations tells an enjoyable story with likeable characters.
Sam Reide (Chris Carmack – The O.C.) has the ability to travel back in time (they refer to it as “jumping”) and makes a living working as a faux-psychic: he travels back to different murders, sees who commits them without getting involved, and then tells the police who to arrest. Sam’s younger sister Jenna (Rachel Miner – Bully, Penny Dreadful) acts as his watchman, taking care that he doesn’t hurt himself when he jumps back. One night Rebecca Brown (Mia Serafino), the sister of his deceased girlfriend Elizabeth Brown (Sarah Habel – Whip It, American Virgin), shows up at Sam’s door with new evidence in her sister’s murder. It turns out that a diary entry proves that Lonnie Flennons (Richard Wilkinson), the man on death row for Elizabeth’s murder, is innocent. Sam agrees to break his own jumping rules to find out who killed his girlfriend. Much like the first Butterfly Effect, this jumping causes problems for Sam and his search to find out who killed Elizabeth.
The story is more engaging than the Butterfly Effect 2, but the plot gets turbid. Any movie that deals with time traveling walks a thin line between clear and muddy, and, at the end of the day, Revelations lands on the wrong side of that line. There are questions that are left unexplained completely, and answers that don’t make sense. This plays out too sloppily to be a conscious choice on the filmmaker’s part. The end of the story is interesting, but the way the plot gets to it might lose some viewers.
Fans of the popular teen drama The O.C. will immediately recognize Chris Carmack (he looks like he hasn’t aged a bit since then). His acting never stood out in The O.C., and the same can be said here. He does a good job, but doesn’t do anything to blow the audience away with his personal connection to the role. Things are happening to him, and he accepts them, but there doesn’t seem to be any longing effect on his character. This is a three-dimensionality that we see with only the best actors, and though Carmack might reach that place one day, he isn’t there yet. His co-star, Rachel Miner, the stronger actor of the two, puts on another solid performance. Miner first blew me away with her stellar work in the 2001 independent film Bully, and though this performance isn’t as memorable as her work there, her talent as an actress is blatantly clear. It would be great to see her in more mainstream films so that she has a bigger audience. She strikes me as the independent filmmakers Rooney Mara, and given a larger audience, will surely move on to bigger and better scripts.
Detroit native Linda Boston has a small role as the sassy apartment landlady, but she is hysterical and worthy of mention (although she only appears on-screen for around 60 seconds). Boston makes the most of her small role, and I will be on the lookout for more performances from her in the future.
On the whole, The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations is worth watching. Though it has nothing to do with the first two movies in the series, the story is interesting enough to deem it worthwhile. There are a lot of gore effects in this movie that are done expertly, but the gore takes a backseat to the story, unlike most films in the After Dark Horrorfest series. Much like The Broken, Revelations ranks among one of the better After Dark Horrorfest offerings.
Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.