The sharply drawn dark science fiction feature, Infinitum: Subject Unknown, written by star Tori Butler-Hart and director Matthew Butler-Hart, explores parallel dimensions and the horror of being stuck in a gap between universes and timelines. Jane (Tori Butler-Hart) wakes up tied to a chair in another world. She manages to get free and begins exploring the room when she hears gunfire and troops outside, though there is no war she’s aware of. When she is overcome with fear and frustration, she passes out and wakes up in the same chair in the same room.
Jane remembers that she has had this experience many times. She soon finds that she is stuck in a time loop, and with each “reboot,” she uses her memories to try to escape, moving further away from her starting point. One of the clues she discovers in a car outside the house is an envelope addressed to a research facility called the Wytness Quantum Research Centre. Jane decides to try and get there to look for answers.
“…the test subjects are intentionally set to repeat the same experience whenever they are psychologically overwhelmed.”
We discover more about the Wytness Quantum Research Centre in remote video interviews with Dr. Charles Marland-White (Ian McKellen) and Professor Aaron Östergaard (Conleth Hill). They speak about the centre’s advances in proving the existence of parallel universes and finding ways to explore them. In flashbacks with Dr. Marland-White, we are told that the test subjects are intentionally set to repeat the same experience whenever they are psychologically overwhelmed. We also learn that the people in these experiments in their parallel worlds have powers they can uncover. If they try hard enough, they can change that reality by the force of will.
This element of Infinitum: Subject Unknown makes it feel like The Matrix, only set in the lush, pastoral English countryside. Fans of Loki will recognize the concept of branched timelines and a sacred, core timeline. The question, of course, is whether a timeline is only sacred subjectively? If someone else is native to a different timeline, that one is sacred to that person. The filmmakers explore complex concepts without getting into the weeds of technical or epistemological detail.
"…is...a timeline...only sacred subjectively?"