PARALLEL (2018) Reviews and UK release news for sci-fi thriller

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Parallel is a 2018 Canadian science-fiction film about a group of friends who stumble upon a mirror that serves as a portal to a multiverse. However, they soon discover that importing knowledge from the other side in order to better their lives brings increasingly dangerous consequences.

Directed by Isaac Ezban (Aztech; The Similars; The Incident) from a screenplay written by Scott Blaszak, the movie stars Kathleen Quinlan, Alyssa Diaz, Mark O’Brien and Georgia King.


Parallel is a very clever concept but the film ultimately isn’t as clever as it thinks it is. It’s an enjoyable ride that’s hindered by some very nauseating camera work, particularly when the group travels to the parallel universe, and you’ll likely get a bit of motion sickness […] The central performances are strong but the film suffers from being a little overlong,” Entertainment Focus

Parallel is a film that mixes science fiction, tech innovation and psychology […]The fresh-faced cast adapt to their multi-layered roles well. It’s a funny discovery piece a the outset then morphs into a suspenseful horror film in classic Twilight Zone mode as ambition and the consequences of messing with greater forces descend on the group.” Flick Hunter

“The multiverse has rarely been so deadly as that displayed in Parallel. It’s not a horror film in the traditional sense, but does offer a glimpse into the true horror of man’s nature; greed and the power that knowledge has to corrupt. A more accessible version of Primer, Parallel offers a lot of ideas that will get the brain whirling and debates going.” The Hollywood News

“There’s a chill to the whole thing, which depends on all the characters being flawed to such an extent that it’s hard to root for even the comparative innocents as the true psychopath among them becomes an exponential threat to them – and maybe even to the universe – but it’s still a compulsive, ingenious, witty exploration of a spaghetti tangle of wormholes, with one delightfully gruesome coup de cinema and a great many barbed little subtleties.” The Kim Newman Web Site

Parallel scratches the surface of theories of time and space without getting too complicated. Think Primer with a bigger budget and less dense dialogue. If you’ve been bitten by the Rick and Morty bug, then you’re probably fascinated with the concept of the multiverse, and Parallel will gladly indulge you without boring you with complex equations.” Nightmare on Film Street

“The special effects of the mirror are simple, though effective; what adds to the effect is a subtle-yet-sharp change to the lighting, cinematography and sound when the camera shows us a view of an alternative world. It’s a little uncomfortable at first, and that just helps us feel for the characters who are experiencing that difference themselves.” Ready Steady Cut!

Parallel is the first of Ezban’s features that he didn’t write, but it feels very much like an Isaac Ezban concept […] Ezban likes toying with the what-if’s of science fiction in a much more esoteric way than your typical director, and that makes his work interesting, even when – like Parallel – it’s a bit dodgy in the execution.” Screen Anarchy

“As Parallel breathlessly speeds towards its precarious finish, the audience is easily swept up in the complexities of time, identity, morality and the ethics of technological analysis couched in the form of a chic, ultra-slick and yet shrewdly nuanced weird-science psychodrama. Capturing the genre jeu d’esprit, Ezban gives us one of the strongest sci-fi offerings of the year, a film that is endlessly inventive, and sheerly enjoyable.” Taste of Cinema

“A powerful opening with Kathleen Quinlan leads into four good performances from a young cast in Wallström, Ameen, King and O’Brien who slide easily into different versions of themselves creating a true multiverse of characters within the movie. Ezban really impresses with this sci-fi, thriller using science fiction as a tool to a means of creating character relationships in a layered story.” Without Your Head


In the USA, Parallel was released theatrically in select locations and On-Demand on December 11th, 2020 by Vertical Entertainment.

Parallel is a film that blends genres – science fiction, horror, and even comedy – in a uniquely satisfying way,” said Rich Goldberg, co-president of Vertical Entertainment. “The ensemble cast features some fresh new faces on the brink, and we’re happy that the film will be opening this December.”

In the UK, Parallel will be released on DVD and Digital by 101 Films on June 14, 2021.

Cast and characters:

Kathleen Quinlan … Marissa
Alyssa Diaz … Carmen
Mark O’Brien … Josh
Georgia King … Leena
Martin Wallström … Noel
Aml Ameen … Devin
Shannon Chan-Kent … Jessica
Carmel Amit … Arielle
Carrie Genzel … Yvonne Lehmann
Josh Blacker … Damion
Eileen Pedde … Librarian
Cassidy Alexa … Jenny (as Cassidy Darling)
Samantha Hodhod … Striking Woman
Izabel Pearce … Maggie
Jana Berengel … Prissy Woman

Filming locations:

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Technical details:

104 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1

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