Parallels follows Ronan and Beatrix, an estranged brother and sister who are reunited when their father mysteriously disappears. Their neurotic neighbor Harold tags along on their search for their missing father, which leads them to a building they accidentally discover is a portal to parallel Earths. Helped along the way by another traveler named Polly, Ronan and Beatrix are forced to face their pasts as they uncover the dark truths behind their family’s broken history and the real secret behind “the building.
The most recent outing from Fox Digital Studio (projects created for online viewing and streaming entertainment outlets) has an epic scope; innumerable parallel Earths all traversable using highly advanced technology hidden in a single building that’s been anchored in the exact same location to every existing world might remind long time scifi fans of the TV series Sliders, but traveling between parallel worlds is where any comparison ends.
The mystery surrounding how the building works, who created the building and why, the need to discover how to travel to the highly advanced core world and possibly shut the building down, plus the breadcrumbs hinting about a shadowy war between some of the parallel Earths — unresolved points that left me with many questions — all were left dangling… along with new questions raised at the end about some of the characters, Polly in particular.
The good news is, this seems to be more of a pilot for a series rather than a standalone movie, and hints about upcoming announcements regarding Parallels may tell us when to expect more, either in series format or in successive movies. Either way, the many questions raised by the movie seem to be leading us into a new online series, one that I am looking forward to watching.
Parallels stars Mark Hapka (“Days of Our Lives”), Jessica Rothe (“Next Time on Lonny”), Constance Wu (“Fresh Off the Boat”), Eric Jungmann (“Not Another Teen Movie”), and Michael Monks (“End of Watch”). The film marks Fox Digital Studios’ fourth time partnering with director Christopher Leone (“Suit Up,” “Wolfpack of Reseda”).
Parallels is available now on Netflix, and will be available on iTunes, Xbox, Amazon, and other VOD platforms on March 31.
If you’re interested in a more in-depth overview, complete with spoilers, check out a recent Slice of SciFi episode where Sean from Edwards joins me for a discussion about “Parallels” and potential directions a series might take.