Writer/Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Running time: 92 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15
UK Release date: 6th February 2009
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 28th August 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is a very interesting Spanish film with a nice twist on the subject of time travel. There is much to like about this film, but you have to be prepared to not ask too many questions of it until the end. I watched it with subtitles, which I didn’t find too much of a distraction, but if you’re not into reading subtitles then this may not be for you. A very direct style adds a certain quality to the piece that you seldom see in a Hollywood film these days. I enjoyed it quite a lot… more of my thoughts after this very brief summary.
Hector and Clara have just moved into a new house in the countryside. They are renovating it and so it is still in a state of disrepair. One evening Hector is checking out the woods through his binoculars when he sees a naked woman. Deciding to investigate he takes a walk and eventually finds her lying in a clearing. He tries to wake her but to no avail and it is now that a mysterious man with a bandage around his head stabs him in the arm with some scissors. Running away, Hector finds a seemingly empty house. Searching it he finds a walkie-talkie and manages to raise another man who is in a silo at the top of the hill. The man tells him that the bandaged man has followed him and it breaking into the house. Hector hurriedly runs to the bunker where a young man waits for him. The young man tells Hector he can hide in a large tank in the centre of the room. He does so and this is where things really get very interesting for Hector. I won’t say any more or those Spoiler Police will start playing with time again… and I really don’t want to go through that again.
A well made film with, as I’ve already said, a very direct style. I really like the device of using the radio to keep the audience informed of where they are in the time-line (you may not understand that if you haven’t seen it yet, but trust me it will make sense when you do). Good performances all round, although it’s a little hard to tell when it’s in a foreign language. Karra Elejalde did a good job as Hector, as did Candela Fernández as Clara. Bárbara Goenaga as the young (naked) woman and Nacho Vigalondo as the young man (in the lab) were both pretty good as well. Although I did find it a little predictable at times, I did very much enjoy this film. Partly, I think, for the fact that Hector and Clara aren’t thirty something’s, they are a more mature couple. I can see a Hollywood remake where they are much younger and I don’t think that will work as well. You can see that Hector gets out of breath climbing up a hill and, to me, this makes it more real. I didn’t find it a scary film at all, although there is some level of violence, but I did find it quite entertaining, if a little predictable… Recommended.
My Score: 7.4/10.
IMDb Score: 7.2/10 (based on 9,121 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88/100 (based on 68 reviews counted at the time of going to press).