Sunday, April 12, 2009


Horror and time travel sound like an unlikely pairing that shouldn't be able to co-exist, but they manage to do just that in Nacho Vigalondo's 2006 debut Los cronocrímenes aka Timecrimes. Featured at a number of festivals in 2007 and after receiving a small theatrical release in December 2008, the film was released on DVD this past week. I rented it this weekend and just finished watching a little more than an hour ago.

It's an interesting take on Heinlein's By His Bootstraps and without giving away too much the film folds a couple of timelines back on itself. The logic of the timeline gets a bit muddled for me near the end, but what I really enjoyed was the transition of the main character Hector over the course of the film.

Hector and his wife are living at a house in the country where Hector seems to be recovering from something stress-related. He comes off as timid and frazzled by everything around him. When Hector witnesses a young woman disrobing in the woods through his binoculars he goes to investigate. Hector finds the unconscious girl, only to be stabbed by an unknown assailant whose face is obscured by a pink bandage. Hector flees from the man only to take refuge in a facility where a lone operator is experimenting with a time machine. Hiding in the time machine Hector is sent back in time an hour and change setting in motion a vicious cycle.

The tagline on the DVD is "The Future is Never the Same Twice" an appropriate sentimen given the twists the film takes. I'll be giving it some more thought over the next few days before I attempt to write up a more thorough review. It's interesting to note that this movie has been picked up by Hollywood for a remake, should be interesting to see where they go with it.

For now I'll recommend the movie more for the time travel aficionado out there or someone looking for something different. If movies like Primer and Donnie Darko make your head hurt, then this movie is probably not for you.

*Note: The movie is in Spanish, but the disc I rented defaulted to the English Dub. I had to stop the movie and change the setup to get the original Spanish dialogue and English Subtitles. You may prefer the dubbing, but I much rather read subtitles and listen to the original performances rather than some sub par voice actors reading the dialogue.

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