Also known as Los cronocrímenes, Nacho Vigalondo’s (Pooka 2018, Colossal 2016 – read our review here) Timecrimes is a unique, sci-fi horror offering, suggesting that some horrible, convoluted events are simply meant to be. What if you could rewind the tape on life to undo strange and horrible things?
On the surface, Héctor (Karra Elejalde: La madre muerta 1993) and his wife, Clara (Candela Fernández: Kidnapped 2010), seem to be a happily married couple renovating their home. Of course, considering that they’re in a sci-fi thriller film, we know something strange is about to happen. While looking in the woods with binoculars one day, Héctor happens to see a nervous-looking woman (Barbara Goenaga: Pikadero 2014) removing her shirt. Later, out of either concern or horny curiosity, he heads out to look for her and finds her on the forest floor, naked and unconscious. Then, before he has much time to react, he gets attacked by a strange man with pink bandages covering his face. Héctor escapes, eventually meeting up with an unknown scientist (Director Nacho Vigalondo), who gradually reveals details about the bandaged man.
Now, I could go on and on here, providing every detail. However, let me just say that the unique story ends up involving time travel, hints at infidelity, and the compelling element of protagonist-as-villain. While the movie itself starts off a bit slow, Timecrimes doesn’t take long to get moving, and its ultimate destination is a little perplexing. One of my favorite aspects of Timecrimes is how Héctor’s quirks and flawed understanding ultimately lead to disaster, and how irreversible and fatalistic it all seems. He ends up on a terminal course of self-injury and self-antagonism, mostly because he naïvely does as he’s told. In other words, the evil here may simply be his spinelessness or his unquestioning obedience.
There is, of course, a very good reason to be skeptical that this movie could actually occur. However, I think there are ways around these critiques. For one thing, just because an event is inexplicable does not mean it couldn’t happen. On top of that, I have a theory. Somewhere down the line, Héctor had been misled by some sort of cosmic trickster. In that sense, Timecrimes seems a little like a Twilight Zone episode. Although that show never featured topless chicks, I could definitely imagine the Rod Serling narration and that kick-ass theme kicking the story off.
Finally, I would like to say that, in my opinion, this movie’s concept could make a decent TV series. In fact, it is a little reminiscent of Groundhog Day. Also, from what I’ve heard, the Netflix series, Russian Doll, is quite similar as well. Honestly, the idea of things being looped together in time will always be interesting, and time travel will continuously be a subject of interest. Honestly, you almost can’t help asking those, “What if” questions. So, while I doubt Timecrimes is for everybody, it’s at least worth a chance. Hell, it even has a pretty high Rotten Tomatoes score of 87% – and it actually deserves it! If you happen to like this movie, you may return to it periodically, even if not in an endless loop. If not, check it out!
What are your thoughts on Timecrimes? Let us know in the comments!