Starring: Elijah Wood, Sasha Gray, Neil Maskell
Director: Nacho Vigalondo
2014 | 100 Minutes
“You can turn off the camera, you can turn off the computer. Do whatever you want but remember it’s her fault you’re stranded at that hotel. I think it’s only fair that she should offer you a little entertainment in the mean time.” – Chord
Did we need more proof that Elijah Wood is a creepy dude? He’s been a hobbit (kinda creepy), that silent dude in Sin City (really creepy), the maniac in Maniac (really, really creepy) and now this. Where did he go wrong?
Nick Chambers (Elijah Wood) runs a fansite for Hollywood starlet Jill Goddard (Sasha Gray). Via an internet contest Nick has won a dinner with Jill. But when he gets a call from a mysterious voice his entire night spins completely out of control.
I had wanted to check out Open Windows because I had heard it was kind of a unique take on the found footage genre, in that it is entirely told through a series of open computer windows. It’s like we are simply looking at a character’s computer screen as he looks between his emails, web browser, photos, webcams, etc. It’s an interesting take, for sure, but it also feels so wrong. Like we are seeing something we are not meant to. Which is kind of the point.
The movie begins as a fairly simple thriller, albeit through a somewhat inventive lens, leaving the viewer constantly guessing whether Nick is really as creepy as he seems. Maybe half way through the movie it goes completely off the rails and plays a game of “let’s see how many twists and turns we can throw at you.” A twist ending can be a great surprise but when a movie twists so much that the twists are expected, it has made a big mistake.
What starts out as an intriguing concept for a movie quickly turns into something so unrealistic it’s not only hard to follow, it’s hard to want to continue watching. And just when you think it’s all over it goes on for another 20 minutes. It’s never a good thing when a movie leaves a viewer hoping for the ending to come and that’s exactly what Open Windows does.