Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

The Bennett’s are a normal mid-American family doing normal mid-American stuff like driving to soccer practice when a horrific car accident changes everything. When the father of the family, Daniel Bennett (Scott Cordes), regains consciousness some weeks later in the hospital he receives the news that his son and his wife died in the accident leaving the man wrought with near inconsolable grief.

Also killed in the accident was the driver of the car who was on the phone with his newlywed school teacher wife Sarah (Annie Tedesco) when the crash took place, cutting short a new life about to begin even before it had a chance to get started.

Avoiding all outside contact Daniel spends most of his days sitting in front of his television set replaying the videos that his son has amassed on his little camcorder, not to mention he was also filming at the time of the car accident. Soon however Daniel realizes that something strangely fantastic has happened for whenever he pauses the play button on the camcorder, he inexplicably freezes time. This you cannot beat with a stick. There is one minor little drawback to this miraculous thing as apparently the only person on the planet earth who maintains some semblance of consciousness while Daniel is freezing time and snatching money out of people’s wallets is Sarah the widowed school teacher. She doesn’t know exactly what’s happening when Daniel freezes time but every time he unfreezes the universe, she collapses in heap. Do this a couple of times in classroom full of fourth graders and you’re not going to have a job too long and subsequently Sarah is relieved of her duty.

Complicating matters for Sarah is the fact that her husband’s possessions are liable in the wrongful death suit against Daniel’s family and she is on the verge of losing everything until Daniel takes pity on her and stops the proceedings. Actually he takes

more than pity on her as he becomes obsessed with her. It started out innocently enough, freezing time so he can fix her plumbing, replace a broken plate or a worn sweater and things like that but then Daniel starts getting a bit creepy, coupled with the fact that camcorder has given Daniel a severe case of the God Complex. He builds a photographic shrine to Sarah and takes extreme umbrage to a fellow teacher who would like to date Sarah. He sleeps in her bed or simply sits around watching her sleep while caressing her face. Mister Creepy Man.

By this time Sarah knows something is terribly wrong and she correctly believes that she has a stalker on her hands though nobody believes her. I mean she does hit the deck like every half hour so I would lean towards not believing her as well. About the time she magically materializes from her couch to her bed all blanketed up she freaks and turns into Columbo trying to figure what the hell is going on. Yes, girlfriend has a lunatic stalker on her hands and this stalker has the ability to freeze time and he’s Karazay! Good luck with that Sarah.

Fascinating film this ‘Suspension’, but probably more fascinating is fact that this in independent Sci-Fi style film with some of the coolest stop motion special effects that you’re going to see in any film. The DVD extras are almost inspiring as directors Alec Joler and Ethan Shaftel along with producer writer Aris Blevins describe in detail on how they were able to pull off the large amount of special effects and get their movie made. But though we here at the FCU do admire anyone who manages to shoot a movie and bring it on to completion, especially on a low budget, the only that really matters to us and anyone for that matter, no matter how fancy the special effects is if said movie is any good and ‘Suspension’ is actually pretty darned entertaining.

Thought the film is deliberately paced it remains interesting because Scott Cordes is fascinating to watch as he transforms from grief stricken father who managed to elicit enough pain to gain our sympathy, then to an amazed wonder kid with a brand new toy, then he turns into Zeus and finally into a loon. Plus despite the unbelievable situation he’s in, his character arc seemed completely believable which was borne by tragedy and a need to replace what he has lost. In what is basically an expanded two person play, Annie Tedesco counters Cordes insanity with her own slightly altered version of crazy in her attempts to deal with what she swears is happening to her and she also makes for quite the plucky little heroine.

Technically speaking the two headed directorial team shoots and frames the movie quite well though the colors looked a bit washed out on occasion which give the film a bit of a low budget look and feel, and while I state that pace is ‘deliberate’ others my simply find it slow, but I would disagree with that though.

‘Suspension’ is an interesting take on a staple of science fiction in time travel, or ‘time stoppage’ as it were, that tosses in some ‘Fatal Attraction’ style flavor, features a pair of solid performances, some amazing looking special effects and interesting narrative. Not too bad at all.

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