‘Project Almanac’ Ending Explained: How Did David Appear in the Birthday Video?

Project Almanac Ending

Welcome to the Ending Explained for ‘Project Almanac,’ a science fiction film directed by Dean Israelite and starring Jonny Weston, Virginia Gardner, Sofia Black-D’Ellia, Sam Lerner, and Allen Evangelista. Michael Bay produces the film, which is part of the found footage genre that was so popular at the beginning of the 2000s. And so ‘Project Almanac’ comes late into the genre, making it feel like an outdated movie. However, it could still be considered a very current film in 2015. Does ‘Project Almanac’ manage to stay relevant?

Not by much, sadly. The film might be one of the most chaotic films using the found footage style that we have ever seen. The camera work is frantic and chaotic, and while this imprints the film with a great level of energy, it also makes it feel like a tough job when it comes to watching it.

The plot goes everywhere, and some of the motivations, while understandable, end up becoming quite a dump, especially when the fabric of space and time could be destroyed at any minute. The acting is also all over the place. It is not a very good film, but it still has a couple of great moments here and there.


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The following paragraphs contain spoilers for ‘Project Almanac.’ Read at your own risk.

What is Project Almanac?

‘Project Almanac’ is a member of the time travel genre, a science fiction subgenre that focuses on the speculative science of time travel and its consequences for the world. Among the most classic members of this subgenre, we can find movies such as ‘Back to the Future,’ ‘The Terminator,’ ‘Time Cop,’ and even very complex movies such as ‘Primer’ or ‘Looper.’ The genre used the time travel element to put the characters into serious and ambiguous moral conundrums. ‘Project Almanac’ follows this trend, and as is to be expected, things will not go well.

The movie starts with the introduction of our main character, a young scientist named David. We see David working on a science project that he will submit for his entrance into MIT. Family and friends supported him, and he got into the prestigious science school.

However, he lacks the funds to actually attend as a student. His mother plans to sell their house and move to a smaller place to have enough money so that he can attend MIT. She says David’s father would have done the same. It is revealed that David’s father died in a car accident many years ago.

David, his sister Christina, and friends Adam and Quinn begin to search in the basement for something that could give them enough money. Ben, David’s father, was an inventor, so there is probably something of value here.

They do find something, a sort of strange machine that apparently is a time travel machine. It all sounds very farfetched, but it comes to light that Ben was working in this machine for the government before dying, all of it part of a project called Almanac. David and his friends make an even more frightening discovery.

They discover a videotape from many years ago. In it, they can see David celebrating his birthday. They are all kids at this point, and Ben is still alive. However, in the background, they discover that adult Ben is in the frame.

How? It seems impossible, except for one explanation: the machine works, and for some reason, David goes back in time to this moment. David and the rest of his friends plan to complete the machine and see if they can use it. This would certainly make them famous and also probably very rich.

How did David appear in the birthday video?

And so David and his friends tinker with the machine until they start experimenting with toys. They even manage to transport a toy car back in time, which is a huge success. However, the process is not entirely planned out, and there are some mistakes along the way. During one of these experiments, they blacked out their entire neighborhood. At this point, David’s crush, a girl named Jessie, gets involved in the project, and she suggests that maybe they should all try to use the machine on humans.

It is dangerous, but David wants to do it alone, knowing that he will eventually travel. However, the entire team offers to accompany. They travel in time and enter Quinn’s house. Quinn marks the neck of his sleeping self with a marker, which also appears on his neck. However, when Quinn awakes, something happens, and both of them are almost erased from existence.

It seems two people cannot know each other’s existence on the same timeline. They return, and David discovers their experiments have been causing disasters. He begins to travel back in time alone to fix these things.

Quinn becomes popular thanks to the experiments, and Adam and Christina kiss each other and start dating. David’s feelings also become a dangerous part of the experiment. He wants to go back in time to save his dad from the accident, and he also wants to go back to a moment where he could have kissed Jessie, but he didn’t. However, this becomes another issue because Jessie discovers that he has been traveling back in time alone.

He admits that he has been traveling back so that she could fall in love with him. To this, Jessie reveals she fell in love with him at first sight. During one of these travels, Jessie meets his past self, and she gets erased.


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The police start pursuing David, seeing him as a possible suspect in Jessie’s disappearance. David concludes that the only thing he can do is to go back in time and stop the machine from being created. He does, and this is the moment where he goes back to his birthday in the past.

He confronts his father, who realizes he will complete the machine, but after discovering what happens, he destroys him and himself, as he knows to create another one. The timeline is reset, and everything is well. With knowledge of the past timeline, David finally gathers the courage to approach Jessie again, and it is implied that they will be together from the beginning this time.

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