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+1  (2013)
3 Stars
Directed by Dennis Iliadis.
Cast: Rhys Wakefield, Logan Miller, Ashley Hinshaw, Colleen Dengel, Suzanne Dengel, Natalie Hall, Rohan Kymal, Adam David Thompson, Josh Warren, Ron Ogden, Bernard Jones, Brad Mills, April Billingsley, Peter Zimmerman, Chelsea Hayes, Joey Nappo, Marla Malcolm, Megan Hayes, Crystal Lo, Joy Brunson, Chrissy Chambers, Ronke Shonibare, Colleen Dengel.
2013 – 95 minutes
Rated: Rated R (for sexual content and nudity, violence and language).
Reviewed by Dustin Putman, September 25, 2013.
"Can't Hardly Wait" by way of David Lynch and "Timecrimes," "+1" takes the teen party comedy (almost a subgenre all its own) down fresh and restorative avenues, combining college-aged angst with existential and sci-fi bents. It isn't every week that the movies cook up a new and different premise, the kind that one can rally behind for its originality, but director Dennis Iliadis (2009's "The Last House on the Left") and screenwriter Bill Gullo have managed just that. It is such a shame that, nowadays, a film like "+1" can only get a theatrical release in two theaters on the same day it becomes available on Video On Demand. Then again, at least consumers can see it nationwide right away—even if it is from their couch.

When David (Rhys Wakefield) is caught in a compromising position kissing another girl while visiting girlfriend Jill (Ashley Hinshaw) at an inter-collegiate fencing championship, she promptly breaks up with him. Hoping to explain himself and make amends, he heads to a summer house party with friend Teddy (Logan Miller). As David wanders through the raucous bash in search of Jill, Teddy finds himself getting lucky with attractive sexpot Melanie (Natalie Hall, especially alluring) while Allison (Colleen Dengel, looking like Lauren Ambrose's younger sister—another inadvertent "Can't Hardly Wait" correlation) stands back, realizing she's even more of an outsider than she thought. Coinciding with a meteorite crash nearby, these partygoers are suddenly faced with the unthinkable following a brief power outage: looking out at the revelry going on from the second-story landing, it quickly becomes apparent that they've gone back in time and replicas of each of them are walking around down below. When another outage occurs minutes later, shifting the two time periods closer together, they are faced with the horrifying notion that they may no longer exist once the past catches up to their present.

"+1" isn't airtight in its toying with the space-time continuum, sometimes taking longer for occurrences that already happened to take place again as director Dennis Iliadis juggles a fairly large ensemble, but this does not diminish the film's rather brilliant construction. An exciting mind-twister, the picture poses any number of questions about one's presumed individuality within the universe and the wish to relive past experiences as a means of fixing mistakes. Furthermore, there is a fascinating potential paradox to contend with when sets of the same person meet each other. If this were to really happen, what would you say to yourself? What would you do? As "+1" explores a collection of different responses to this conundrum—Allison befriends her double, while others turn violent, desperate to be their own one and only—the film leads to a conclusion that too easily rectifies its conflicts but is oddly logical all the same within its personal narrative reality. One of those movies whose only chance of enduring is based on the word of mouth of those who have seen it, "+1" is a freaky jaunt through time travel that is well worth taking.
© 2013 by Dustin Putman
Dustin Putman