Spanish writer/director Nacho Vigalondo is an extremely exciting young filmmaker, having established a successful career making short films before jumping into features with the mind-bending and time-traveling Timecrimes. His next film, Extraterrestrial, was a comedic drama set during an impending alien apocalypse, but wasn’t quite the sophomore effort anyone expected. After dipping back into short films for his entry into the horror anthology The ABCs of Death, Vigalondo is making his first English language film, and he’s keeping it anything but simple.
The first poster for Open Windows has hit the internet thanks to Bloody Disgusting, and it successfully sets up the film’s multimedia format approach, while also creating immediate tension from Elijah Wood’s pained face and the presence of a black glove (which is never a good thing if Italian Giallo films have taught us anything). Oh yeah, and there’s also a lusciously risqué picture of porn-and-more actress Sasha Grey (The Girlfriend Experiment, Would You Rather?) taking up the cell phone in the middle of the screen. However did I miss that?
Open Windows isn’t just risky for the deep cleavage, either. It’s a tech-savvy thriller that will play out in real time as viewed through a laptop screen. I know, right? Looking past films with similar techniques like Silent House, Vigalondo will be using 12 different types of cameras – including webcams, phones, headcams, satellites, security cams, etc. – to give viewers an innovative role in what is “essentially a 90-minute chase, a continuous climax with unrelenting tension,” says the director. “It is also a powerful viral tool, with a wide potential for different audiences.”
The film follows Wood’s desperate search for Grey, who has been kidnapped by a villain named Chord - played by British actor Neil Maskell, who was in one of my favorite films of 2012, Ben Wheatley’s crime-horror Kill List. Though it isn’t clear who has the laptop, I’m assuming the villain does, and is watching Elijah Wood fight to figure out where he’s going. I could be wrong, but that’s what I take from Vigalondo, as he distances this film from those of the “found footage” genre.
“Instead of simulating a home video camera, we will be representing a computer desktop,” he says. “The movie screen becomes a computer screen, and the spectator becomes the protagonist of this adventure.”
Color me highly interested but skeptical. Wood has gotten heavily into horror recently, starting his own horror production company and garnering pretty decent reviews for his work on Frank Khalfoun’s Maniac, and he jumped on board this project as soon as he read the script. The film just recently finished filming, so after what will probably be a crazy editing process, look to find this film sometime later this year.