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Want a fun (and creepy) Ocean’s 11 take on the multiverse? Try The A-Frame

Tribeca’s indy scifi film has a horrifyingly fresh idea on how to tell a story about alternate dimensions

The A-Frame
Image credit: Traverse Media

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The A-Frame, Calvin Lee Reeder’s new film about a quantum physicist who has figured out a way to tunnel between universes, turns on the idea that if you send part of all of a living being to another dimension, even just for an instant, it somehow wipes out anything cancerous in the body.

But when pressed by his first patient, Donna (played by Dana Namerode), about how this works, quantum physicist Sam (Johnny Whitworth) admits he has no idea. And the film never explores the possibilities.

Spoilers ahead for The A-Frame.

But it does offer two intriguing bits of information: First, most of the things that come 'back' are actually not the same creatures that went through. A cat that was a female is now a male. Terminally-ill comedian Rishi (Nik Dodani) seems to get liquified on his journey, but Sam insists that the remains are not those of the comedian. In fact they might not even be human.

Second, when Donna and Rishi are put through the A-Frame — in Donna’s case a small version for just her hand; in Rishi’s a full-body capsule — Reeder creates a sort of pinwheel effect in which multiple versions of the character’s faces are placed one upon the other, suggesting that those moments may somehow involve other dimensions’ versions of the character. Donna even has spooky hallucinations of those moments after the fact.

These ideas beg the question, what if the 'healing' of the A-Frame is actually a robbery, in which Sam is stealing healthy cells from one dimension’s version of a character and replacing them with the sick version’s cancer cells? And if that’s the case, what grander schemes might be possible? Organ theft? Limb replacement? A good old fashioned bank heist?

Also, was this Sam’s intent the whole time? He tells Donna that curing cancer was never his goal, but he also doesn't say what it was. Might he imagine himself as some sort of multidimensional Indiana Jones, trying to replace his own version of golden idols with bags of sand?

At the end of the film Sam seems to have been reduced to his own screaming puddle of goo. (It's so good.) But if Sam’s theory about dimensional replacement is true, he’s still alive in that alternate dimension, with whatever plans that originally inspired him. And maybe that hand on the film's promotional material isn't Donna's at all...

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