‘FLASHBACK’ interview: Filmmaker aims to stretch brain cells with Dylan O’Brien-starring sci-fi tripper

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Preston Barta // Features Editor

Christopher MacBride’s new film Flashback, starring Dylan O’Brien and Maika Monroe, aims to bend your mind and introduce concepts that are almost too big or weird to wrap your head around. In a sense, the best kind of science fiction strives for that effect. They are crafted with the hope of making your brain bubble over and start leaking out of your ears.

In the Lionsgate thriller, O’Brien portrays a spiritless information analyst who suddenly begins to have creepy visions of a girl (Monroe) who vanished when he was in high school. Maybe the disappearance has to do with a mysterious recreational drug, or perhaps O’Brien’s character is suffering from some strange trip that makes time and space slip away entirely. Whatever it is, the only way to end these visions is to dig deep into his memories.

Following mind-bending works such as Vanilla Sky and Donnie Darko, MacBride’s film interrogates humanity’s ethics, alternate realities, and our propensity for destruction. Does the past blur into the present? Do multiple realities exist simultaneously? 

These are some of the questions we examine in our recent interview with MacBride. We discuss what his ambitious film can inform us about our reality and the importance of having a healthy relationship with our past and memories. 

Watch the video chat below, and catch Flashback this weekend in select theaters or by renting via on-demand platforms. You can also own the film on Blu-ray, DVD and/or Digital on Tuesday, June 8. Special features include a director’s audio commentary, three deleted scenes, and a trailer.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.