Starring Sasha Grey, Elijah Wood,
The most interesting thing about Nacho Vigalondo’s Open Windows is how the entire film takes place on open windows, referring to the multiple windows or browsers we can have open on one screen. Sure, the realm of possibility is bent somewhat with when and where the characters can get camera and internet connections in the film. However, Nacho’s explanation of the film and his intentions suggest this isn’t a film meant to be taken very literally. After the screening, one audience member asked both actors if they could even understand the Spanish director, and everyone laughed. Vigalondo’s eccentric behavior is certainly felt in the thriller, but at the same time the project feels more like an evolving experiment than a film with an intended result.
After winning a contest and flying to Austin, TX to meet action star Jill Goddard (Grey), Nick Chambers (Wood) is told that the actress will no longer be meeting him. He is messaged from his laptop and told to do various things, including watching a video feed from the icon’s cell phone. The person on the other line begins to get more demanding, threatening both Nick and Jill if he doesn’t comply. Nick is instructed by the mysterious voice to leave the hotel and drive around the city while Jill is now kidnapped and in harms way. It becomes a game of cat and mouse and online smarts, technology and lots of open windows.
Pretty odd yet forgettable film
Since his Lord of the Rings success, Wood has mostly spun around in the horror genre that seems so appealing to him. There was evidence of his interest in the more terrifying genre before Frodo with The Faculty, and after with Sin City, Maniac and his upcoming Grand Piano. His iconic eyes lend him to roles like this where fascination, fear and intensity can all play out across his face. Open Windows depends on Wood especially to keep the audience’s interest because we are looking at him and watching his actions for the entire ride.
Boredom isn’t exactly what Open Windows displays because there is an interest to discover exactly what the motive is here. Like most horror directors, Vigalondo allows the story to slowly unravel into chaos that includes car chases, explosions, violence and, of course, nudity. The director’s announcement that he loves the entire audience waiting to watch his film, “I wish I could have sex with you all; instead, I will just f*** your mind with this movie”, clued me in to the type of film I was about to see. Grey, an adult film star certainly provides the audience with eye candy, but this is all in all a pretty odd yet forgettable film.
None of those windows ever lead to a mind blowing film.