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OPEN WINDOWS (review)

open_windows_ver8OPEN WINDOWS
Directed and Written by Nacho Vigalondo

Starring Elijah Wood and Sasha Grey

Nacho Vigalondo’s first English language feature, the aptly titled OPEN WINDOWS, is an attempt at a social commentary on the voyeuristic nature of fandom and the internet as a whole. His last two films are examples that demonstrate Vigalondo’s prefers a complex narrative-based thriller to engage audiences, and in the case of 2007’s TIME CRIMES it proves both effective and crowd pleasing. However, with OPEN WINDOWS, it appears that the director has bitten off far more than he can chew. His experimental approach only allows us to see the action through a computer screen (imagine many pop-up windows of video calls and incoming messages all at once). A storyline that derails itself no more than 20 minutes into the film doesn’t help either.

The story revolves around Nick (Elijah Wood) who is a superfan of Jill Goddard (porn star cum mainstream actress Sasha Grey) who also happens to be the webmaster of her fan site. Upon winning a dinner with the actress, Nick is invited to a hotel by a mysterious caller named Chord (KILL LIST’s Neil Maskell), who says he is her campaign manager while she is on tour. He agrees to meet in the hotel room, but only to find that he is a pawn in a cat and mouse game for this mysterious Chord to get closer to Jill. He goes on to use Nick to fulfill his master plan.

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The switching between the windows on screen becomes not only nauseating but greatly annoying after the gimmick quickly wears off. The story moves between a psycho stalker trying to murder a star (for a reason we are never told) to a hacker thriller where devices and servers are of the typical imagined kind that involve lots of glass plates and scrolling text. OPEN WINDOWS quickly becomes a mess of pointless plots that are riddled with holes and blatant, illogical actions. (Why would Nick even go along with all this in the first place?)

It’s clear what Vigalondo was trying to accomplish, and there are even clear homages to Hitchcock and De Palma’s BODY DOUBLE, but he just never gets his footing. OPEN WINDOWS is a sloppy film that spreads itself in far too many directions to even be comprehensible at times. I want to erase this film from my memory.

1 sheep

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