Cult Movies

Cult Movie Essentials: Frequency (2000)

In a time when time travel movies had been done to death a breath of fresh air blew in that put a different spin on things. Written and co-produced by Toby Emmerich, Frequency (co-produced and directed by Gregory Hoblit) is an American science fiction thriller that stars Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel as father and son, Frank and John Sullivan.

The film opens in Queens, New York during October 1999, John Sullivan (Caviezel), a 36-year-old homicide detective, breaks up with his girlfriend Samantha (Melissa Errico) with the reason partially attributed to the trauma caused by the death of his fireman father Frank (Quaid).

John is still living in the same house where he grew up, he discovers his father’s Heathkit single-sideband ham radio and begins transmitting radio signals. Because of highly localized electro-temporal spatial effects caused by unusual aurora borealis activity, John somehow makes contact with his father exactly 30 years in the past on the day before Frank’s death in a warehouse fire.

The ensuing conversation results in Frank thinking John is a stalker. Before the connection cuts out, John is able to shout out the circumstances that led to Frank’s death. The next day as little things brought up in their conversation prove true, Frank believes and heeds John’s words, escaping the fire to safety.

The father and son reconnect on the ham radio set later that evening, with Frank sharing his dreams and his hopes for his son, and John recounting the details of the Mets-Orioles World Series, which is just beginning in Frank’s timeline in 1969. John also reveals to Frank that he now dies of lung cancer in 1989 due to his smoking habit.

Frank’s survival creates a new timeline where John is the only one with two sets of memories, one of the new and one of the original timeline, but with the new time line come all the aftershocks of John’s interference…

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