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Open Windows

Canadian Premiere
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Official Selection, SXSW 2014

“Elevates Hitchcockian suspense to jittery new levels of mayhem and paranoia” - Justin Chang, VARIETY

“Unique, wildly enjoyable, and altogether satisfying” - Peter Martin, TWITCHFILM

Nick Chambers (Elijah Wood) is the naïve, obsessive webmaster of a fan site dedicated to Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey), the “it girl” of the moment. Both are in Austin at present — she is promoting her latest film, and Nick is streaming the Q&A from his hotel room. Winner of an online contest, he is supposed to have dinner with her later that night... until he gets the fateful call. Chord, a man presenting himself as Goddard’s manager, gives him the awful news: she has cancelled all plans. But he offers an alternative: uploading an array of unbelievable spying tools on his computer, Chord informs Nick that Goddard will be making her way back to the very hotel he is staying in. Better yet, it turns out he can see her room across from his window! As Nick follows Chord’s instructions and starts spying on his favourite star, it becomes clear that the man at the other end of the line isn’t who he says he is. And with that realization comes another, more terrifying one: Nick is already trapped, a puppet in a sinister, voyeuristic plot he will have no choice but to see through the end.

Following the Fantasia breakout hit TIMECRIMES and the opening segment of THE ABCS OF DEATH, trickster-director Nacho Vigalondo is back with his third feature and English-language debut. Another incredibly twisty, ever-surprising mind-bender of a thriller, OPEN WINDOWS is propelled once again by a fascinating gimmick: the film unfolds entirely on Nick’s computer screen in one seamless “long take”. As Vigalondo navigates from window to window, focusing the viewer’s attention by zooming in and out from within Nick’s computer, one discovers a 21st-century, multi-screen update of Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW (with a little bit of the equally artifice-driven ROPE thrown in for good measure). To boot, Vigalondo cranks the volume to 11 throughout, infusing his film with every bit as much excess and madness as the voyeuristic, lurid thrillers the Hitchcock classics spawned — be it through De Palma’s signature split-screen being translated here as layer upon layer of software, or Chord donning the indispensable leather attire of many gialli’s psycho-killer. Following MANIAC and GRAND PIANO, Wood continues his winning streak of buzzed-about genre picture, playing here opposite Sasha Grey, in a sinuous film that unfolds at an incredible pace, sticking you, quite literally, to the screen.

— Ariel Esteban Cayer