Timecrimes - DVD Review

'a blend of science-fiction and horror but also a definite musing on voyeurism'

Like any thriller that promises multiple twists and turns along its tumultuous runtime, the success of Timecrimes eventually comes down to how effective its conclusion is. Happily, director Nacho Vigalondo pulls a rabbit out of the hat come the film's final shot which is both remarkably beautiful, sadly tragic and pleasantly open to multiple interpretations.

With the gorgeous nature of his final shot, it's a shame that the main let down with Timecrimes is in its technical execution. Scenes are often horribly under-lit whilst multiple sections filmed to look like the view through a pair of binoculars ring false. The whole thing feels slightly grubby and rather cheap and aesthetically resembles a film from the mid-nineties shot through a grain-covered lens. If there's ever going to be an argument for why Hollywood remakes are a good thing then the leading point must be the availability and relative cheapness of good quality basic equipment in the American film market and this coupled with better cinematography could have elevated Timecrimes to greatness.

Having said that, Vigalondo's film is hugely impressive even with its questionable looks. The opening third sets up the story as a blend of science-fiction and, more loosely, horror but also contains definite musings on voyeurism, exploring the role of both the watcher and watched. The trope isn't fully expanded and rather becomes forgotten in the final third but whilst its there it's both intriguing and insightful and what the film has to say on the matter is said in a compelling and succinct fashion, although some hard-to-justify, very European, nudity does rather blunt the sharper edges of the argument.

In the lead, Karra Elejalde is very impressive although his personal journey throughout the piece sometimes seems to feature leaps that happen too quickly. After discovering the identity of the masked man for example, Elejalde's character seems to move suddenly into the darker reaches of his psyche, perhaps understandable considering the circumstances but nevertheless jarring in pure character terms.

The film is perhaps not as profound as it thinks it is but even then it is certainly more profound than stylistic and thematic counterpart Triangle which accomplishes far less with far more resource. Inventive, intriguing and occasionally creepy, Vigalondo's film is a very worthy addition to the time travel genre.

Look further...

'Timecrimes was always destined to be high on my year-end list. It's a fine, engrossing and addictive film' - Dark Eye Socket


  1. Oh lord, I love this movie so. Not only does it delve into the kind of quiet existential time-travel-paradox horror I breath on, it's scary as shit.

    And that was my elegant reviewing skills at work. Good day.

  2. Thank you, sir. Elegant reviewing skills always welcome here! I was surprised by how tense it was to be honest but yes, it creates its horror remarkably well. Really enjoyed it.

  3. Questionable looks? Have you seen that girl? ahah ;) Loved Timecrimes though, one of the better time-travel movies in recent memory.

  4. Ha ha! OK, fair point - Bárbara Goenaga is rather beautiful, I will give the film that much in the looks department.