SXSW 2024: A Crime Film Turned Time Travel Thriller in Michael Felker’s Debut Film ‘Things Will Be Different’

Things Will Be Different SXSW
Credit: Carissa Dorson

There were a lot of films dealing with time in different ways at this year’s SXSW, but none as fun as Michael Felker’s lo-fi mind trip that feels reminiscent of the best parts of the TV Show, Lost or Timecrimes. 

Time travel films are always a fun box to play in but can sometimes leave audiences feeling lost or uncertain of the rules and Felker’s very aware of this as much as to have a character plainly state that they can’t explain everything so cleanly. It’s a fun moment that has the filmmaker putting himself in the audience’s shoes. 

Executive produced by Benson and Moorhead and written and directed by their editor, Michael Felker, Things Will be Different follows two estranged siblings Sidney (Riley Dandy) and Joseph (Adam David Thomson) who meet up at a diner and are on the run. From what? Why? It doesn’t matter. They both have guns and one of them has a large bag of cash from somewhere. The authorities are on their tales and they’ve got to go… of course, Joseph had to stop by for some breakfast. 

The plan… simple… Wait in a safe house until things die down by using a magical door (along with some fun turning back of time) that sends them to a different universe’s timeline. 

The timer starts… in 14 days they will return home. They laugh, drink, and have a great time in what seems like a bonding activity for these estranged people. There are a lot of realistic and fast paced sequences here that truly establish them as family. This is a great change of pace from so many films relying on a love story but here it’s about rebuilding their family. 

As the days go by they prepare to return changes when someone begins communicating with them. They can’t just leave as planned.

A safe with a tape recorder inside it allows them to communicate with a voice from the past (or is it the future?) and they are given instructions… kill the visitor and present the body to them and they will let you leave. The problem is they don’t know who it is or when they will arrive. 

This is an absolutely stellar example of high concept filmmaker by a filmmaker who has worked with two of the best in independent filmmaking and crafted his own way forward. Its tight mythology, wonderful characters and use of classical music transports us with the siblings as time keeps on ticking and ticking… 

The film does erupt in violence just as it piles on even more science fiction to melt your brain like any good sci-fi techno thriller would. The last few minutes will leave the audience scratching their heads and ready to take a trip back into the safe house to see what the hell they might’ve missed the first time. 


Things Will Be Different SXSW
SXSW 2024: A Crime Film Turned Time Travel Thriller in Michael Felker’s Debut Film ‘Things Will Be Different’