Let's call this piece 'a slow-burn fractal tale of moral dimensions.' If you have seen Issac Ezban's PARALLEL film (2018) the title of the piece probably sounds spot-on for ghosts & goblins to exist. Such a conclusion would land you in an abyss of darkness when actually compared to the contents of this film. If you have not seen Parallel, you are in for a hell of a reflective ride when you do. If you are in the market for a preview beyond the trailer to work out some of the cool nuances of this film, buckle in and get ready for recapping the exposure of alternatives and what you might take away to capitalize on.
The year 2018 was a rad year for me, I was reeling into my sophomore year of film school, somewhere between Film Art Studies and screening as many blockbusters as I could, I managed to miss Alyssa Diaz's stunning performance as Carmen the necessary barmaid that Josh was digging in reality before passing through the mirror in the attic. Though, it was after he had passed through the mirror with Devin that he chose to explore a relationship with Carmen. Asking Devin to sit downstairs and wait for him to score with the barmaid upstairs, Devin put his headphones on and did oblige downstairs. Attentive to his tunes, that he missed the burly pair of construction boots enter the home and proceed upstairs. After hearing gunshots, Devin removed the headphones.
The next scene opens up with Devin and Josh coming through the mirror and Josh is gushing blood from a thigh wound, possibly an artery. Lena races to assist but basically stood frozen as Josh went into shock. Devin yelled out to Noel to call 911, but Noel had bigger business at hand; he was concerned with new patents and fewer friends to hold him accountable.
If you have seen NBC's new series DEBRIS, then you have met Parallel's cousin. The cool difference between the two is NBC's storyline hasn't honed the ability to control time travel and Netflix's PARALLEL is all about control.
Control is the culprit that unravels the parallel experiment. At the point where Josh was fatally wounded, I was unsure of the rules of the mirror game. Suddenly The Butterfly Effect popped into my mind and I began to wonder if we were in a cocoon of sorts. Noel has an idea to replace their reality deceased friends with an alternate same person from another universe as if the details of his own universe would not matter.
Parallel has a great plot, however, there were quite a few corners and necessary seams in the film that were flimsy and without depth or explanation. I say this often and don't mind repeating it, "Story is important and backstory better be a given."
You can't build a home without wood. The backstory is the foundation and structure of a well-built film. Backstory and your foundation work may not be seen in the script but the weight of it will be felt and the audiences' feelings are what make your story memorable. The best of story will outlive us, and Parallel is of the better concepts born. Inference from this film will birth many.
The title naturally invoke thoughts of ghosts and unseen mischief, but none of that crossed the writer, Scott Blaszak's mind when he composed this reel of reflections. Parallel is about an old mirror with Friday 13th The Series -like abilities:
I am a true SYFY head and Parallel did not disappoint. Unlike the simplicity of story told in Friday the 13th series S1 Ep15, Parallel took on exploiting all of the bigger nooks and crannies of the mirror horror concept. I'm sure that the success of Parallel has made all 5 of the writers who co-wrote F13th S1 Ep15, proud.
ACT 1 & 2 of Parallel were strong, though mid-way through act 2 things got a little muddled as Noel's intentions were not as focused nor yielding as much clarity to the viewer as the intentions of Leena. Leena was guilty of reproducing original art from alternate universes as her own creations and benefiting from art sales in her reality. Noel was doing far more advanced larceny with patents intended towards innovative future technologies.
F13th the series has to be a part of the original concept of mirrored goods that begat evil. Parallel extends the idea brilliantly and leaves the door wide open to inference. If you ask me, I'd love to see where Noel was going and exactly what he was seeing. The way Scott's script played out, it left the viewer feeling like not only might Noel have contacted himself in alternate universes, but I got the feeling that all of his dimensions were on board to assist deception. There's proof of this in act 3 after Noel is shot. Did you see it?