Time Crimes

  • Nacho Vigalando /
  • Spain /
  • 2007 /
  • 88 mins

Karra Elejalde, Candera Fernandez, Barbara Goenaga, Juan Inciarte / Fiction / Spanish

What if you found evidence of a crime … which you yourself were about to commit?

?This nasty, disciplined little time travel thriller won the Next Wave Award at Austin’s influential Fantastic Fest last year, and plans are afoot for an English-language remake. Following an ordinary suburban man who experiences a hiccup in time and finds himself implicated in a murder, Time Crimes combines the head-scratching cleverness of Primer (EIFF 2004) with an honest appreciation of the power of a good hard scare. Hector, played by Karra Elejalde, is idling at his country home when he glimpses a naked lady through the trees. He moves in for a closer look; but it turns out that all is not well in the world of the naked lady – and that a very aggressive man with a bandaged head is not very happy about her being looked at... Fleeing, Hector discovers a hitherto unglimpsed laboratory further back in the woods, and calls in the help of the nervous scientist working there – little realising that he’s run into his very own Dr Emmett Brown. Hiding out just makes things stranger: Hector emerges to find that time has slipped back, and he’s now horribly implicated in the very events to which he has been a baffled, partial witness. With its tiny cast and its circular plotting, Time Crimes reveals just how simple an effective genre movie can be – and how scared one can get by a man with a bandage round his head. The real monster of the piece isn’t the lumbering bad guy however, but the predestination paradox which traps Hector in a hideous loop of his own ill-fated actions. An Oscar® nominee for the 2005 short 7.35 in the Morning, writer/director Vigalondo displays a singularly impressive grasp of atmosphere and timing – though you may not thank him for it when you’re drawing a map on a napkin afterwards in an effort to comprehend the film’s chronology.

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