Time Trap Ending Explained (With Detailed Plot Analysis)

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Time Trap is a 2017 science fiction film directed by Ben Foster and Mark Dennis. What is Time Trap about? Well, it’s about a cave where people are known to mysteriously disappear. A group of students head into the cave looking for their missing professor. Once in, they are in for a world of surprise when they finally understand the reason for the disappearances. While the film’s concept and its depiction were great, the acting was a bit of a letdown. But this article is not a Time Trap review, so let’s get to answering some of the questions the film raised. This is Barry, welcome to my site, and here’s the plot summary and the ending of the film Time Trap explained, spoilers ahead.

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Here are links to the key aspects of the movie:

Time Trap: What is happening in the cave? 

The reason people have been exploring this case over generations is that it harbours the Fountain Of Youth. But the cave protects the Fountain through layers of time-dilation, two to be precise. Time within each layer slows down drastically. And as you venture deeper into the cave, the dilation effect compounds. What does this mean? Simply that while you’re in the cave, time flies by on the outside at a rapid pace. That way, even if you reach the Fountain Of Youth, an eternity would have passed in the world outside.

Sun cycle time trap

Time Trap: How much is the time dilation effect in the cave?

Now, remember, you see the light outside the cave going from bright to dark. While we’re initially led to believe that this is one day elapsing in mere seconds, it’s later revealed that the bright is summer and the dark is winter. One cycle of seasons is seen in about 4 seconds, which means an entire year passes by in 4 seconds.

Time Trap: Plot Explained

What happened to Hopper?

Hopper is actually looking for his parents whose disappearance, decades ago, traces back to this cave. They went looking for the Fountain to save their ailing daughter. As Hopper enters the cave, he sees a cowboy practically motionless. It’s not that the cowboy is frozen, he’s moving so slow with respect to the time outside that he appears frozen. We aren’t told who the cowboy is, but he’s from a different era. As Hopper enters, the cowboy begins to move, this is because the two of them are now at the same pace at which time is flowing. In about a minute or two, Hopper runs back out soon as the cowboy is attacked. When he comes out his car is buried under overgrown pants. Remember, a couple of minutes in the cave is decades outside. Hopper reenters the cave.

hopper time trap cave

What happened to the dog? 

As far as the dog is concerned, Hopper entered the cave and never came back out. The poor thing must have waited around, eventually given up and headed out in search of food and water.

Who are the cavemen? 

Okay, these are genuine cavemen, as in, the early humans of the Americas. Going based on the information They must have entered this cave thousands of years ago and got preserved because of the time dilation. Remember, from the perspective of these cavemen, they’ve not been in this cave for far too long, just over 30 hours or so.

time trap gang with furby

What happened to Furby? 

After spending a day outside the cave, Furby decides he’s going to go in looking for his friends, who he’s presumed dead, for the car keys. While it’s a whole day for him, the rest of the gang has experienced only seconds. As Furby enters, his rope gets cut, and he falls but doesn’t die. He lies there unconscious for about an hour and wakes up to talk to Taylor on the walkie talkie, but a couple of cavemen attack and kill him.

Why are all the ropes getting cut? 

One half of the rope, that’s outside the time dilation boundary is ageing at 1 year every 4 seconds. An old rope becomes brittle and snaps because of the weight of the person climbing down.

What does Cara see when she climbs up?

As the group says, it’s been about an hour for them in the cave. This is close to 1000 years outside. By then the air has changed, and the planet is swept by enormous dust storms. The triangle thing in the sky is a space station. We’ll get to that in a bit.

What’s happening at the Fountain? Why is everyone frozen? 

The Fountain is present in the second layer of the cave. Here the time is further slowed down. The people in there are folks from various eras who are fighting due to the greed for power. Nobody wants to share the gift of the magical waters. Anyway, time moves so slowly where they are that even if they did make it out, the sun might have gobbled up the Earth. Assuming the time dilation ratios are the same at each layer, 4 seconds at the Fountain is 1 year in the cave, which is nearly 8 million years for the rest of Earth.

time trap fountain of youth time trap giant

What happened to Earth in the future? Who’s the giant? 

The giant is a future human who comes to take samples of the healing water in the cave. He saves the dying Tayler but gets taken down by the cavemen. He is unable to breathe the air in the cave and dies from suffocation. His helmet device scans Cara’s face to play news clips related to her and her sister’s disappearance. We’re also told that mankind wound up from Earth and colonized Mars. The triangular thing in the sky is the space station used to access Earth.

Time Trap: Ending Explained

In the ending of Time Trap, the humans of the future use their advanced technology to pick up everyone alive and dead. They use the healing water to revive Hopper, his parents, his sister, and Furby. They are all on a space ship that prepares to head to Mars. The humans of the future are delighted to have accidentally picked up strangers from a distant past, the 21st century. The group oddly accepts their bizarre fates rather quickly and looks forward to their new lives on Mars thousands of years in the future. I say oddly because it’s been only a few hours for them and they have lost everything and everybody they knew, including their planet! Usually, an event like this would psychologically impair one for life.

Time Trap Ending: How many years have passed for the gang? 

The group was in there for about 3 hours (I’m assuming twice the length of the film). Considering 4 seconds for them is 1 year for the rest on the planet, that’s a total of 2700 years. Close to 3 millennia has passed for the rest of the Earth relative to the group inside the time trap. Considering this, it’s strange that the future humans are not interested in the cavemen who are a million years older! Edit: One of the comments correctly pointed out that cavemen in the Americas, unlike the East, aren’t very ancient; not more than about 30,000 years. It’s still remains odd that they ignored them altogether.

time trap triangle space station mars ending scene