By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)
From writer/director Nacho Vigalondo (Time Crimes, Extraterrestrial), comes this modern day take on a story similar to Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Elijah Wood stars as Nick Chambers, a starry-eyed movie fan who happens to be the lucky winner of a dream date with movie starlet Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey). The bad news is that Jill plans to cancel on Nick and ruin his night. Nick receives this disappointing news from an unknown source, a mysterious person who goes by the name of Chord. Chord offers Nick a chance to spy on Jill for the rest of the night via computer, but there’s more to this voyeuristic opportunity than meets the eye. This unusual and bizarre gift from Chord leads to a night Nick will never forget.
I must say that Vigalondo’s inventive update on Rear Window is one hell of a thrill ride. With loads of suspense, thrills, and some unusual twists, Vigalondo utilizes elements from the digital age to take the story in directions Hitchcock probably could not have imagined. However, perhaps this also works as a disadvantage as the movie takes a bizarrre, unlikely turn and the reveals to the real story behind the voyeurism plot actually are quizzical and somewhat disappointing. Everything leading up to these revelations are an absolute blast, though. I must say that I had a damn good time taking the journey, even if the ending had me bewildered.
Vigalondo does write a pretty sharp commentary on the internet, digital media and people’s obsession with following celebrities using these resources. The movie also boasts strong and powerful performances by Wood and Grey, who with every film she makes proves that she has genuine talent and deserves a career in cinema. Open Windows may not all accomplishes all that it aspires, but its attempt is a thrilling and valiant one.