This is it. The mother of all mindbenders. A film that, by virtue of its meagre $7,000 budget, elliptical time-travelling plot and remorseless economy of exposition has perhaps generated more discussion per dollar than any other sci-fi film out there. These timeline diagrams only begin to explain why...
You can only time-travel backwards to the point you turn the time-travel machine on.
Diagram via Wikipedia.
Unless you take a time-travel machine back in time with you using the time-travel machine... Then it gets more complicated.
View in full here. By Tyler Skrabek.
Quite a bit more complicated.
View in full size here. Created by Laura Ells.
No, more complicated than that.
View in full size here. Created by Keith Pearson.
The more you think about it...
View it full size here.
...the worse it gets.
View in full size here.
This one's just a hot mess.
View it in full size here.
Is this one right?
See in full here.
Or is it this one?
See the enormous original here.
Actually, it might just be this one.
Still haven't got it? Perhaps this 15-minute explainer video will make things clear:
Or if you'd rather read a detailed explanation...
This handy article provides an incisive explanation of the film's events, but let's face it, you've read this far, you owe it to yourself to go deep. So turn to The Primer Universe for 27,000 words of painstaking analysis.
Just watch the whole thing again with this fan-made audio commentary!