It is no secret that technology is taking over the world. Computers, in various forms, are virtually everywhere now. Unfortunately, this is causing hackers to become more prevalent in our society. All too often, we hear of stolen identities, hacked credit card systems, online sexual predators, and many other internet scams. Isn’t it unsettling to know that all of our personal information is at someone’s fingertips? The 2014 film Open Windows explores just how dangerous the internet can be. However, did it come off as believable or is it a far-fetched representation of the world wide web?
South By Southwest held the world premiere of Open Windows on March 10th, 2014. This is the first movie in English that Nacho Vigalondo has both written and directed. In the beginning, we learn that Nick Chambers (Elijah Wood) has won a dinner date with his favorite actress Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey). We observe him waiting patiently in a hotel room while viewing an online stream of Jill attending a convention about her newest Sci-Fi movie Dark Sky: The Third Wave. Things get turned up a notch when Nick is suddenly addressed by a man named Chord (Neil Maskell). He informs Nick that Jill has canceled their dinner date without reason. As the viewer, we immediately understand that Chord is manipulating Nick. Now, I’m not too familiar with the world of hackers, but if there is an ultimate hacker in this world, this guy takes the cake. He has access to pretty much every aspect of Jill’s life. Naive Nick is bummed about his dream date but at the same time intrigued with this new set of circumstances. As the night goes on he has to decide just how far he is willing to let Chord go.
Believe it or not, Open Windows is portrayed through a laptop internet connection the entire time. How cool is that?! I know there have been several movies to use this concept already but I had yet to see any quite like this one. Each scene is pieced together perfectly while compiling technology on top of technology. I can only imagine how difficult it was to shoot and edit this film. The title Open Windows certainly lives up to its name as each clip we see contains several open windows in one frame. We are allowed to keep tabs on Nick, Jill, and Chord all at once. Ultimately, this is a unique and clever way to stay updated with the characters we are trying to understand.
Solid performances are given by all of the actors as well. Elijah Wood dominates the role of Nick Chambers while showing us how trusting some people can be in the online world. He has this captivating aura about him that makes you wonder what his character is going to do next. For example, does he really believe everything Chord is telling him or is he just oblivious? As for Neil Maskell, he does not appear on the screen much, but we do get to hear his threatening British voice for the majority of the movie. However, it sets the disturbing tone that leads us through the fast paced action. I do feel some scenes dragged a bit but I still couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen. The artistic nature of the movie makes up for the areas that seem to be lacking. Sasha Grey is the centerpiece of Open Windows as Jill Goddard. She masters the presence of a conceited beautiful actress who has it all. The movie revolves around all her windows literally being open although it would appear she would like to close them. What would it feel like to have no privacy? Grey gives a peek at the dark side of luxury. In this sense, it doesn’t appear to be all that it is cracked up to be.
It is surprising to me that I just heard about this movie. Last month, I signed up for Horror Pack, which is a horror fiend’s dream come true. On a monthly basis, you get four mystery horror movies sent straight to your door for a fixed rate. It is awesome because you have the choice between Blu-Rays or DVDs. The best part is that both options result in four different movies, so if you did both you would have eight different movies altogether! I opted for the Blu-Ray option whereas I was introduced to Open Windows. Now I have started an awesome Blu-Ray collection and get to review movies for you fine folks. Check Horror Pack out if you get a chance!
Open Windows is anything but far-fetched. Technology has advanced so much in recent years that online predators are capable of much more than they used to be. This movie will open your eyes to how easy a hacker can accumulate personal data to use for their own gain. For enjoyment purposes, it is a great movie that will you serve you well for a night in. The internet can be considered a horror story in itself sometimes so be careful with whom you trust in those chat rooms.