THE BEFORE TIME – found footage review

Found Footage Review

Oh hey there, and we’re back.

Back with another found footage movie found on good old Tubi.

Oh, Tubi, you really are a boon for found footage.

This time around we have THE TIME BEFORE, a professional looking found footage yarn that forces together two local newscasters as they try to get to the bottom of a dangerous legend.

Let’s dig in, yeah?

THE TIME BEFORE follows two local newscasters against one another as they are forced together to shoot was the producer feels is a reality series. The two young women are rivals, both working the local news market and one having been the hot new news woman and the other the new ‘hot’ new news woman. The women will be joined by their camera operators a producer, and an intern to delve deeper into the mystery surrounding a nearby desert area that has claimed the lives of many people in search of hidden Navajo treasure. As they start to investigate things they begin to run into Native American men that insist that they are delving into something they shouldn’t and that they are, essentially asking for trouble. We find though that what is happening is not completely organic and that the producer is adding fake moments of drama to the proceedings. As the group enters the desert and decide to imbibe something that will help them ‘see’ more things take a turn towards the diabolical as the things they are seeing and hearing make this cash-grab television reality series take on a deadly shade.

OK, first off, let’s just talk about the weirdness of using Native Americans and Native American curses as plot bombs for movies in 2022. It’s weird, right? Like, they try to tread carefully and it seems as if the point isn’t to exploit Native Americans but…it’s still a weird look. The movie is about Navajo gold with a curse on it and the story behind that is pretty well done but the rest is so sloppy and awkward it feels like no work was done to earn this as a plot anchor. Then you have the old trope of taking some sort of Native American drink or drug to ‘see’. That’s just…well, it’s hack, let’s call it what it is.

The film is well made, the filming is smooth, and the set up, while awkward, does address the idea that this is ‘found’ footage that was ‘found’ and edited. I apprecaited their making the effort to check that box. Well done! So few bother with that and I appreciate that they did.

The actors are all good, though some of the back and forth devolves into bickering – why are so many of these films about bickering? – which can get old. The movie starts off pretty well but devolves and loses any sort of sense as it tries to hurtle towards an ending. We are given a set up for some sort of creepy demonic presence, and we ‘see’ something but it, well, it’s not great. It looks sorta silly. They try to set this up with some lore but don’t follow through with it and lose the foundation they are trying to set.

Sorry.

This is far from a bad movie, really, it just doesn’t really stick with you. It’s OK. It just…loses its steam and logic about halfway in and becomes a movie about gold and bickering and scares and disappearances and none of it has any real impact on you. It’s another one of those movies where you ask – why are you still filming? They try to answer that – BECAUSE! WE HAVE TO CAPTURE IT ALL! – but it feels a bit weak considering everything going on.

Some folks might get a kick out of it.

This one just ain’t for me.

2 out of 5

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