Monday, September 29, 2014

Open Windows (Review) - When One Window Opens, Another Closes

This was my first year with Nacho Vigalondo. Early this year I got into Timecrimes thanks to my compadre Shawn Savage over at The Liberal Dead. From there I went on a hunt for all of his short film work and watched everything I could find on Vimeo and YouTube. Gradually I realized that this fella was making movies that challenge me, scare me and keep me completely captivated. If you thought Timecrimes was good and think that this must be some kind of anomaly, I urge you to think again and take a visit with one of his newest productions that will hit VOD on 10/2 and theaters 11/7.  Open Windows is a fast paced, intelligent piece of superior modern suspense with as many misdirections as there are scenes in the movie.

What I love about this one... Elijah Wood is perfect. He's so convincing he could create anxiety in a coma patient. He plays his role to perfection as he did in Grand Piano and the Maniac remake. While I might not necessarily characterize Open Windows as a pure horror tale, more of a thriller really, he is currently dominating the horror genre. I'm content to let an actor of his caliber do just that. Sasha Grey is also stellar. Disclaimer: I have a huge star crush on her, but beyond that she really does give a heartfelt, emotive performance that creates the proper amount of sympathy for her as a victim but all the while letting you know that she's strong enough not to be fucked with. The pace of this movie works for and against it. It does a marvelous job of keeping the story moving, refreshing the viewer with new ideas and visual candy. It's shot in a camera perspective with the focus on a lap top screen with multiple windows with various live feeds and points of interest (thus one potential interpretation of the title).

What worked against it... the pace kept the story moving so quick that if you miss a single moment you have to rewind it or live without knowing what that juicy piece of reveal was that you happened to miss while dropping your popcorn. Open Windows will work well with multiple viewings, but if you only get to see it once make sure you keep your peepers peeled. The concept of the movie meant to make the whole thing feel very realistic, but it does feel a bit over sensationalized. This isn't purely a problem mind you, but it may make it feel more like a work of fiction rather than a piece of reality that you are living along with our protagonist.

Vigalando has a buffet of new releases that have me sitting on my seat, waiting. He has contributed to The Profane Exhibit, V/H/S Viral, ABCs of Death 2 See all his new contributions and then pick up the upcoming compilation of his short films, Confetti of the Mind. Get into him now because he's quickly becoming the premiere horror director on the block.

I'm excited for a physical release of this picture to rewatch it and get more out of it on a second viewing on a large screen (I watched a screener link). Nacho Vigalondo's thriller OPEN WINDOWS starring Elijah Wood & Sasha Grey. OPEN WINDOWS will be in select theaters on 11/7 with an early VOD release on 10/2.

Synopsis from Cinedigm:

Oscar®-nominated writer-director Nacho Vigalondo(The ABCs of Death, Extraterrestrial, V/H/S Viral) creates an action-packed world of voyeurism and suspense in his thriller OPEN WINDOWS. Nick (Elijah Wood, Maniac, The Lord of the Rings) is excited to discover that he's won a dinner date with his favorite actress, Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey, Would You Rather, The Girlfriend Experience). But when Jill refuses to honor the contest, her manager Chord (Neil Maskell, Wild Bill, Pusher) makes an offer he can't refuse: the ability to view Jill secretly via computer. Nick begins watching the unknowing star on her webcam, not realizing that this decision will put both himself and Jill at risk as they enter a terrifying world of cat-and-mouse where nothing-and no one-are as they seem

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