This Canadian sci-fi thriller has a clever premise: four young people discover a portal to multi-universes.
In the fantasy prologue, there’s a glimpse of Marissa (Kathleen Quinlan) and her doppelganger.
Then in Seattle, faced with an outrageously demanding deadline that’s rapidly approaching, four aspiring techies are living in a rented house so they can work 24/7 on their innovative parking app.
One day, they inadvertently find stairs to a secret attic containing a long, mysterious mirror that serves as a portal to a parallel dimension. They soon come to understand calculations of the time-travel concept: one minute in our realm equals three hours in an alternate realm.
While they must avoid the twin ‘alternative’ versions of themselves that exist in this time-distorting place, they immediately realize they can profit by ‘stealing’ knowledge from the future to create wondrous technical inventions to make a great deal of money in the present.
There’s ambitious Noel (Martin Wallstrom, who plays Tyrell Wellick on TV’s Mr Robot), morally conscious Devin (Ami Ameen), reckless Josh (Mark O’Brien) and conflicted Leena (Georgia King). They are excited and intrigued by their unexpected discovery, which inevitably leads to multiple betrayals.
Problem is: greed takes over.
Working from Scott Blaszak’s convoluted screenplay – with superficial subplots alluding to various theories of time and space – Mexico-born director Isaac Ezban fashions a cautionary tale, somewhat reminiscent of Flatliners, but it soon loses steam and his penchant for using diverse camera angles to differentiate different universes is sometimes dizzying.
FYI: Isaac Ezban is the co-founder of Autocinema Coyote, the biggest drive-in chain in Mexico.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Parallel is a flawed 5, even for those who relish esoteric sci-fi/horror.