Runners-Up 2008: #6 - "Timecrimes"
So I've officially decided... I do not want a time machine.
Nope. No good can come of it. I've suspected as much over the years, and sure, "Back To The Future" was a lot of fun, but... I have a strong suspicion I'd unravel the wrong thread and suddenly find myself trapped in a nightmare akin to the one that is sprung on the audience by madman Nacho Vigalando, writer and director of this ingenious no-budget Spanish film. Karra Elejalde is a powerful force as the average putz, spending a weekend at the country house with his wife, who stumbles into a time loop that I suspect it will take several viewings to puzzle out. And I like that. I like that it's a crazy little puzzle box, and the way things just keep getting worse as Elejalde struggles along in the timestream, fucking it up as badly as he can. The film's ending is a foregone conclusion... and that's sort of what makes it great. It's not about outsmarting the screenplay so you can say "I figured it out!" You need to know what's coming so that when it gets there, and Elejalde realizes that it's always going to be him that makes it happen, no matter what, it is not just a clever filmmaking game. It's like watching something small and furry struggle in the grip of a predator. Elejalde never stands a chance once he jumps out of time, but he goes down swinging. That Vigalando is able to also wring some huge dark comic laughs out of all of this, even during the climax of the film, is a testament to just how good he is with tone.
Like "Let The Right One In," this is part of an ongoing Magnolia Films series in theaters and on video, the Six-Series Shooters, and you'll be able to catch up with the film at home in 2009.