I’ve always been a fan of Elijah Wood but I can’t help noticing that his choice of staring roles gets stranger and stranger as time passes.
Maybe this is down to the fact he has slipped down the Hollywood ladder a peg or two – maybe he just likes diverse new projects?
When I first came across Open Windows I decided to give it a miss after about 20 minutes. Simply put: I didn’t realize it was shot completely in the ‘unfriended’ style and it’s plot seemed a little shit!
About a month ago one of the regulars to this site ( who’s name I can’t remember for the life of me! ) pointed out that Neil Maskell played a role in the film.
Now, I’m from the UK and Neil Maskell is well known over here for selecting films and series that are pretty diverse and interesting ( Utopia being a perfect example of this! ).
Anyway, I decided to give the film a second chance due to the new information I had received regarding Mr. Maskell…
Turns out this was a good move!!!
The movie follows Nick ( Elijah Wood ) who is a stalker…sorry…superfan of Jill Goddard ( Sasha Grey ). Nick is also the webmaster of a site that has been set up in honor of this rather tasty actress.
Nick somehow manages to win a competition where the prize on offer is a dinner with his beloved Jill Goddard. He is invited to a hotel by a mysterious caller named Chord ( Neil Maskell ) where he is told to wait until called upon for dinner.
But Chord is not what he seems I’m afraid and soon Nick finds himself stuck in a deadly game of cat and mouse as Chord closes in on superstar Goddard…
This is director Nacho Vigalondo’s first English language film and I think he maybe a bit guilty of ‘normalizing’ the first 30 minutes or so of the film.
As I mentioned earlier – I really wasn’t that impressed by the initial stages of the film mainly due to the fact that they were a little over-manufactured.
But I should have stayed the distance as the plot and the ever-confusing build just sort of snowballed after the 30 minute mark – it really was quite good!
The first 30 minutes belonged to Hollywood – the remainder of the film belonged to the Found Footage genre!
Open Windows ended up being quite an inventive white-knuckle thrill ride that I won’t forget in a hurry. It also reminded me that watching a film in it’s entirety is probably a better idea than jumping to conclusions!
I loved the way that the insane technology in the film is presented with little or no explanation. Nacho Vigalondo has relied on the fact that we won’t ask too many questions due to the pace of the plot ( and we don’t really! ).
I counted about four razor-sharp twists in the plot that really caught me off guard and made me smile. What starts off as a bog-standard Hollywood thriller really evolves into an ambitious and far-fetched delight!
Elijah Wood is awesome as the obsessive yet innocent fan and Maskell throws in his typical 9 out of 10 performance.
I was also surprised by the acting talent of Sasha Grey as her past works have not exactly been on any Oscar nomination lists ( yes, yes, she used to be a porn star! ).
Clever Skype-like cinematography, crazy plot, good actors and an overall brave effort – it’s nice to watch something this fresh really.
Don’t do what I did first time around – sit through THE WHOLE film and enjoy the ride ( it’s worth it! ).