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Review: OPEN WINDOWS

OPEN WINDOWS

OPEN WINDOWS

I experienced a wave of conflicting emotions during Nacho Vigalondo’s English language debut, OPEN WINDOWS. Vigalondo, best known for his 2007 breakthrough Spanish thriller TIMECRIMES, is a director who is undoubtedly gifted at telling his stories in unique ways. Crimes’ take on time travel was a solid indicator of his ability to create a tense science fiction film without sacrificing story or falling into 50s-cheese territory like many bigger budget sci-fi fall victim to. His contribution to the lackluster ABC’S OF DEATH in 2012 was one of the few vignettes that actually made an impression. Vigalondo, without a doubt, had a style all his own and was clearly on his way to creating more compelling films in the future of science fiction/horror–which is why it pains me to say that Windows is, for the most part, a huge misfire.

Windows stars Elijah Wood, as Nick, the webmaster of a popular site dedicated to his favorite actress, Jill Goddard (played by Sasha Grey). When Jill cancels the dinner he’s won with her at the last minute, Nick begins receiving messages from an unknown source online who promises him more intimacy with Jill than he could imagine, all from the safe security of his laptop–but then, nothing is really secure on the internet, is it? Wood is clearly becoming horror’s new golden boy after completely nailing it as the lead in the brutally original 2012 MANIAC remake but here, he’s given little to work with. The two-dimensional characters make it nearly impossible for you to care about anyone; Nick is an invasive fan who doesn’t respect boundaries, Jill is a one-dimensional snotty actress and the rest of the characters are typical techno-villain throwaways.

The eerie relevance the invasion of Jill’s privacy has to the recent “Fappening” of popular actresses is astounding, however, the film never goes any deeper to make a statement on the lack of privacy we all risk over the internet. Instead, the film focuses all of its efforts on the style in which the story is presented. Yes, Open Windows is a literal title–as the action plays out via windows popping up on your screen, as though you were watching it all on your own laptop. This only makes it more difficult to enjoy because it taps into the ADD that modern society already has with media, despite it being a really innovative way of having the action unfold.

I’d love to say that the twists of OPEN WINDOWS are just as compelling and jaw-dropping as Vigalondo’s previous TimeCrimes–but it just isn’t so. Whereas Crimes’ twists helped propel the thrill of the plot unfolding, Windows’ twists are convoluted and cause enough head scratching to give yourself a nasty case of Psoriasis. By the time the film reaches its 100 minute mark and reveals its motive, you’ll likely end up feeling cheated. Still, I can’t completely damn the film because we all complain that we want more original concepts and this one is definitely original when it comes to the presentation. While not every element falls flat, Nacho Vigalondo’s English debut is more frustration than fun, with a concept that was possibly too ambitious for anyone to succeed with, though fans of techno-espionage thrillers may find some charm in his execution.


Joshua Soriano

Joshua Soriano

Author: Joshua Soriano

Josh Soriano is an artist, musician and writer who was raised by wolves, watching horror films.

I tumble, I tweet.