ByCraig Whyel, writer at
Film & TV news, previews and commentary
Craig Whyel

Now available on Netflix is Open Windows, a crime thriller.

A little too detached...
A little too detached...

Nick Chambers (Elijah Wood) is a webmaster for an internet site dedicated to actress Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey).

Nick goes to Austin, Texas, thinking that he won a contest to meet and have dinner with the beautiful Ms. Goddard, who is in town promoting her latest movie.

Nick waits in his hotel room and watches her online live at a press conference.

Things get ultra-weird, like Hitchcock on an energy drink, when Nick manages to chat online with the starlet's manager, Chord (Neil Maskell), who explains that Nick’s big chance to meet his favorite actress is a hoax.

Nick soon realizes that he’s been pulled into a bizarre scheme from which he can’t escape.

Using the invasive power of technology, Nick figures out that Jill is in danger and must figure out a way to save her.

Spanish filmmaker Nacho Viglando wrote and directed the movie. It is his first English project.

Open Windows is a very high-tech, ambitious project. The plot unravels almost entirely over the internet.

It is a statement to the overreach of the web’s power to invade our private lives.

Critical response to Open Windows was highly mixed. Reviewers either liked or hated it.

One of the drawbacks to the film was that some things developed with minimal explanation.

Further, it got a little tedious with Mr. Wood spending much of the time talking to a web cam.

Despite the fact that there was constant communication, the characters seemed rather detached and cold. With the storyline advancing online, it seemed to diminish the impact that humans bring to the resolution.

Perhaps that was by design.

The endless jumping about to a myriad of webcam views was highly repetitive and subsequently irksome.

Mr. Wood and Ms. Grey were quite steady and solid in their roles, which was difficult because the humans were second fiddle to the technology.

Open Windows didn’t get a major US theatrical release. After touring a number of film festivals, it came out on DVD, Blu-Ray and video streaming in early 2015.

The film is worth a look but definitely different. Chances are, after watching, you won’t be indifferent.


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