Nacho Vigalondo’s Timecrimes film review

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Man in the pink mask in the Nacho Vigalondo film Timecrimes. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing.
Man in the pink mask in the Nacho Vigalondo film Timecrimes. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing.
Timecrimes is the third release in Magnet’s ongoing Six Shooter Film Series of six films highlighting the vanguard of genre cinema from around the globe. Let the Right One In from Sweden and U.S. entry Special, have already been released to critical acclaim. Ollie Blackburn’s Donkey Punch, from the U.K., Big Man Japan Japan and the dark French thriller Eden Log are scheduled to be released in early 2009.

Timecrimes was an official selection at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and won the Audience Award, as well as the Best Feature Jury Prize at Fantastic Fest in 2007. Noted short film director Nacho Vigalondo makes a stunning feature debut in a genre that’s been done six ways to Sunday. Yet the strong, twisting script keeps the murky comedic thriller on its toes throughout. As with Let the Right One In, Timecrimes exposes the wealth of talent and thought, that continues to develop in genre cinema worldwide. The film’s captivating energy can be immediately felt, as we are introduced to its hapless protagonist, Hector (played by Karra Elejalde), who has just moved into his new country home, and has a minor accident with the supplies he’s just bought from the store. After deciding to relax and survey the nearby hillside through binoculars, when glimpses what appears to be a nude woman amidst the trees. As most men would, he hikes up to investigate, and is attacked by a sinister figure whose head is wrapped in a pink bandage.

From there, a series of events unfold that lead to him to a secret time travel experiment and being warped back into his own recent past, where the tone of the film gets much more serious, as he learns the dangers of paradoxes.

One of the best aspects of the storyline is how Vigalondo – who also appears in a pivotal role in the film, as the lone attendant of the time travel laboratory – plays with our expectations of the film and where its story is headed.

Once the inevitable remake rights are nabbed, I hope U.S. studios hire Vigalondo to redo his own work. He’s clearly a very talented and very hungry writer/director, and could produce a sci-fi masterwork, given the right budget and freedom.

Here are the current U.S. opening dates for Timecrimes’ release.

  • December 5, 2008
    Austin, TX: Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
  • December 12, 2008
    West Hollywood, CA: Sunset 5
    New York, NY: Sunshine Cinema
  • December 19, 2008
    San Francisco, CA: Embarcadero Center Cinema 5
    Chicago, IL: Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema
    Portland, OR: Cinema 21 Theatre
    Seattle, WA: Varsity Theatre
  • January 2, 2009
    Nashville, TN: Belcourt Theatre
  • January 9, 2009
    San Antonio, TX: Santikos Bijou @ Crossroads 6
  • January 24, 2009
    Rochester, NY: Dryden Theatre

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