‘Frequency’ - a taut and unusual thriller

Can Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel save their family? Only time will tell.

Can Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel save their family? Only time will tell.

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Late night viewing can sometimes yield unexpected yet enjoyable results, and such was the case with sci-fi thriller ‘Frequency’.

A trawl of channels years ago on a quest to find something to watch turned up this gem of a film which turned out to be extremely worthwhile.

Starring the hugely under-rated Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel as father and son Frank and John Sullivan, the premise might be a bit far-fetched but it quickly develops into a taut crime story as well as tapping in to what we’d do if we were given a second chance with loved ones.

Still suffering from the trauma of his firefighter father’s death 30 years before while attending and emergency John, a homicide detective, finds his father’s old ham radio, repairs it and starts broadcasting. Due to an unusual effect from the aurora borealis, the signal’s bounced back 30 years and he finds himself talking to his father the day before he is destined to die in a warehouse fire.

Although Frank doesn’t believe it’s John, John is able to warn him about the fire and the next day he escapes unscathed. With the creation of a new timeline, John calls his mother and finds that her phone number is now that of a deli. In the new reality, it turns out that Frank had died of lung cancer and his mother Julia (Elizabeth Mitchell), a nurse, was murdered by a serial killer - the “Nightingale Killer” - who originally murdered three nurses before vanishing. With the past changed he has now murdered 10, with Julia as the sixth. Using information from contemporary police files on the impending seven killings, John and Frank work together to stop the murderer in 1969 and save Julia and the other six nurses.

While tension builds through the murder investigation, the story is also touching as father and son renew their bond and strive to keep their family together. Not as well-known as it deserves to be, ‘Frequency’ is a cracking evening’s entertainment.