The McCoubrey Brothers have once again made a hauntingly atmospheric short worthy of seven minutes of your time. Attempting to capitalize on the successes of the macabre “The Grey Matter,” which I showcased here, the McCoubreys quickly worked to release another short. The product is “Therefore I Am,” a seven minute thriller about the many-worlds interpretation of time travel.
According to Director Peter McCoubrey:
Traditionally, the way time travel is depicted in popular films like Back to the Future, The Terminator, and Looper (all films we love) the is that if you go back and alter the past in any way, it will create a butterfly effect that directly impacts a character’s future/present. That’s of course an endlessly fun hook that creates high stakes and allows for really dynamic sci-fi storytelling. We thought what if you took that paradox out of the equation? Could there still a captivating aspect to time travel that doesn’t involve a Grandfather Paradox? So I read up on all the leading physics theories that allow room for the plausibility of time travel in our universe.
One of the theories that I found interesting was called MWI or Many-worlds Interpretation. This theory imagines that every time you travel back in time you enter an alternate dimension in which your actions have no direct impact on your own existence. So we thought – what if you could travel back in time to try to fix a mistake from your past… with the only benefit being, you get to live as a spectator to an alternate version of your younger self, as he sets out to not repeat your mistake… would anyone do it? It’s funny because although structured as a psychological thriller, at its root, the story is about a loss so deep that the character is willing to sacrifice his own present just to know that his mistake was righted somewhere else in the universe.
Short films are always tricky for me to review, but I love them for their concise narratives — cutting is never easy. “Therefore I Am” packs a punch in only seven minutes, and while it doesn’t exhibit the same level of character development as the McCoubreys’ first, the pacing and revelatory editing create a captivating mini-thriller.
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