Open Windows – Review

“It always makes sense in the end,” we’re told midway through cult Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo’s Open Windows; which – given the rather knowing and satirical nods littered throughout the  daft yet rather fun concept thriller – is a promise it never quite lives up to. For the most part however, it’s a very novel, entertaining and slickly executed piece; but with a conclusion which pushes the limits of already-suspended disbelief, Open Windows lets itself down with a poor and over-the-top conclusion far beneath the standard of the film as a whole.

Elijah Wood plays Nick Chambers, an internet fanboy who wins contest for dinner with his favourite screen siren, Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey). When his dinner is abruptly cancelled however, a friendly voice from what he assumes is a PR rep compensates him by granting illicit access to Jill’s phone and CCTV coverage. But what begins as innocent-enough peeping soon graduates to murder and a variety of other serious crimes, as nick is pushed further and further by the increasingly threatening voice emanating from his laptop.

Presented entirely as a screencast of Nick’s laptop, with different feeds displayed as different windows (it’s not just a clever title); Open Windows might be the most visually inventive thriller since last year’s Maniac remake, which coincidentally also starred Wood in the lead. Some intriguing laying of groundwork swiftly sets the stage for a romping and suspenseful thriller, with both Wood and the vastly underrated Grey – surely one of the finest crossover performers by now – delivering intensity and investment by the shedloads.

It’s in the weak conclusion however that things quickly fall apart, with an attempt at sleight-of-hand antics which simply stretch credibility too far past the point of real engagement. The film is good enough to overcome the misshapen final scenes, and its leads make a noble attempt to roll with it; but Open Windows sadly minimises its audience’s ultimate enjoyment of an otherwise solid and inventive thriller.


Catch Van Connor’s reviews in our Movies section and live on Slam Dunk Cinema every Saturday at 12PM on Sheffield Live! 93.2FM or on the podcast via iTunes.


In it
Elijah Wood, Sasha Grey
Behind it
Nacho Vigalondo

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