Alright, well we’re moving right along to Day 3 of my #31DaysOfHorror reviews. Lets get started shall we? As always, please feel free to leave comments with your recommendations, I haven’t planned any of these out in advance, so I’m open to suggestion.
Alright, so this time around we have a pseudo-found footage-ish movie called Open Windows. This one directed by Nacho Vigalondo who gave us Time Crimes, which was a pretty interesting movie, plus he directed one of the better segments in the first ABC’s Of Death film, and will be contributing to the next V/H/S film. All around pretty great track record, so how does this stack up? Here’s the plot first off :
An actress named Jill refuses to have dinner with Nick, a fan who won a date with her in an Internet contest. In return, a guy named Chord, posing as Jill’s campaign manager, helps Nick to follow in the footsteps of the actress from his own computer. Nick starts a game in which he realizes that is only a puppet into the maniac plans devised by Chord, to hunt down the star.
Admittedly, I was a bit nervous when the movie started. It opens with a film-within-a-film, that I thought might actually be the movie I was watching. Thankfully, it wasn’t, and the actual movie wasn’t quite as hard to watch as the initial segment would have led me to believe. That being said, once the movie gets into format it does become a little bit hard to watch.
The movie is told entirely from the POV of Nick’s (played by Elijah Wood) computer screen. The entire movie. We basically are looking at the open windows on his screen, and specific parts of that screen are pulled into focus as needed. It starts off relatively simple, with some definite computer magic thrown in but, as the movie continues, it becomes a bit muddled and disorienting. Plus, the computer magic is cranked up to an 11 and you’re asked to believe quite a bit. That and the movie is just sort of hard to look at, the format is a bit too busy, and muddled. Though, it is a relatively interesting way to tell the story.
The plot is interesting enough, even if it does get a bit lost in the format, and the actors do a pretty serviceable job. Elijah Wood doesn’t seem to know how to turn in a bad performance, and even when his dialogue is silly, and the plot twists are goofy, he pulls it off in a real and believable way. Sasha Grey is also just fine in this movie, it’s interesting to see her going back and forth from adult films to narrative films in the last few years, though her ‘proper’ films haven’t been mainstream, she does a pretty good job in all of them. She turns in a pretty passable performance in Would You Rather as well.
So all in all, this is kind of a cool little movie. Admittedly the format is bizarre and at times a bit silly, but it’s certainly a watchable movie. Though, I will say, if you haven’t seen Time Crimes yet, give that one a watch first, it’s exceptional and a fun mind bender.
FINAL GRADE : C+