Dylan O'Brien collaborates with director Christopher MacBride for the science fiction drama Flashback. Fredrick Fitzell (Dylan O'Brien) lives his best life until he starts having horrific visions of Cindy (Maika Monroe), a girl who vanished in high school. After reaching out to old friends with whom he used to take a mystery drug called Mercury with, Fredrick realizes the only way to stop the visions lies deep within his own memories. So, he embarks on a terrifying mental odyssey to learn the truth.
The film starts off with a promising enough premise by introducing us to Fred. He is in a healthy relationship with Karen. Not to mention, he just got a new high-paying job and has moved into a new apartment. Soon, Fred receives life-altering news involving his mother (Liisa Repo-Martell). After making a visit to his mom, Fred has an odd encounter while stuck in traffic, forcing him to revisit his past.
This, in turn, leads to Fred reconnecting with old chums Sebastian (Emory Cohen) and Andre (Keir Gilchrist). Before long, Fred is having a flashback to events in high school, and these events begin cross-cut into his present life. And thus lies my primary criticism of Flashback. Director Christopher MacBride doesn't appear to know what kind of film he wants to make. A small part of me thinks he wanted to do an indie drama showcasing substance abuse in teens. In contrast, another apart thinks he wanted to do something like The Butterfly Effect. The style mixing he uses doesn't work and creates a confusing narrative.
Dylan O'Brien (who deserves much better) can't elevate the weak material, and the rest of the cast just appears to be there for a paycheck. While I'm a fan of Dylan O'Brien, Maika Monroe, and movies involving paradoxes, naturally, I wanted to enjoy Flashback. The potential was there for a good film, but in the end, it's a disjointed sophomore effort for writer/director Christopher MacBride.
Final Grade: D-
Flashback is available to stream today June 4th. In addition, the film will be released for DVD & Blu Ray purchase on June 8th.