Sunday, October 09, 2022



Written, co-starring, and directed by Nacho Vigalondo, Los Cronocrimenes (Timecrimes) is the story of a man who finds himself in a time loop as he tries to stop versions of himself from living. The film is sci-fi thriller that play into the world of time loops where a man finds himself dealing with a bunch of things that play into his own future and things that he realizes would destroy everything around him. Starring Karra Elejalde, Candela Fernandez, and Barbara Goenaga. Los Cronocrimenes is a riveting and inventive film from Nacho Vigalondo.

Told in the span of a day, the film revolves around a man who witnesses something outside of his home only to be chased by a mysterious figure in a mask and then hide inside some chamber only to realize he stepped into a time machine where he finds himself in a time loop. It’s a film that explore a man who would relive an entire day where he would see himself while realizing the trouble he is causing as he tries to stop his other versions of himself from creating the same mistakes. Nacho Vigalondo’s screenplay is largely straightforward as it begins with its protagonist Hector (Karra Elejalde) arriving at home bringing things for his wife Clara (Candela Fernandez) as they’re renovating their home. While Clara leaves to get more supplies, Hector sits in a chair watching his surroundings with a binocular as he sees a topless woman where he gets a closer look as it leads to chaos involving a mysterious masked man. He would hide at a place where there’s a lab where meets a lab technician (Nacho Vigalondo) who would hide Hector in this chamber unaware that it is a time machine where Hector finds himself reliving the same day but also seeing versions of himself on that day.

Vigalondo’s direction is stylish as it is shot largely on this suburban location in Spain with the exception of the film’s opening shot at a nearby shopping building as it then cuts to Hector arriving with the trunk of his car open where all of the things he bought had fallen off. A lot of Vigalondo’s compositions are simple with its close-ups and medium shots while there are some wide shots of these locations as it include a forest, a house where the lab are set in, and other things that play into the film. It is clear that Vigalondo is working with a low budget yet he manages to use the locations and re-create scenes that were filmed the first time around and then film them again where Hector sees himself sitting on a lawn chair and looking at everything through the binoculars. It all play into what a version of Hector is doing from the first timeline to the one who is doing things in the time loop that he’s in as the scientist is trying to help Hector make sense of what he’s doing.

The usage of repetition is key to the film as it play into the idea of a man in a time loop as it also adds a lot of intrigue into who is the man in the mask from the first act and why this young woman (Barbara Goenaga) took off her clothes as Hector found her naked the first time around. Even as the second act has Hector not only deal with what his previous version was doing but also have revelations into what else had been going on and why time travel is a complicated concept. Vigalondo maintains that air of intrigue in the third act in which Hector has to deal with the actions he had taken as well as being aware of what he does to change the past as well as the future. Yet, Vigalondo also reveal the many complexities into the dangers of time travel as well as Hector having to make some decisions knowing the chaos he is creating as well as what he has to do. Overall, Vigalondo crafts a compelling and imaginative film about a man traveling through a time loop where he would encounter versions of himself.

Cinematographer Flavio Martinez Labiano does excellent work with the film’s cinematography as it has a bit of a desaturated look in some of the coloring aspects of the film while it would have elements of grain for some of the exterior scenes at night. Editor Jose Luis Romeu does nice work with the editing as it has some unique jump-cuts and rhythmic cutting to help play into the suspense as well as these inspired moments of repetition. Art directors Jose Luis Arrizabalaga and Biaffra do amazing work with the look of the lab the young scientist runs including the time chamber that he has created. Hairstylist/makeup artist Susana Ibarretxe, with special makeup artists Oscar del Monte and Nacho Diaz, does brilliant work with the different looks that Hector would endure during his travels through time as he would also showcase different wounds and scars he would encounter with these mysterious figures.

Special effects supervisor Anthony C. Ciccarelli and visual effects supervisor Marcos Onaindia do terrific work with some of the film’s visual effects as it relates to the mask the mysterious killer is creating as well as other bits that play into the suspense. Sound designer Roberto Fernandez does superb work with the sound in the way music is heard from afar as well as other sparse elements that help play into the suspense. The film’s music by Eugenio Mira is wonderful for its low-key yet thrilling electronic score filled with ambient-inspired synthesizers and some orchestral strings to help play into the suspense while the only other piece of music used in the film is Blondie’s Picture This.

The film’s incredible ensemble cast features a notable small role from Juan Inciarte as both the mysterious man in the mask as well as a double for Hector while Nacho Vigalondo is fantastic as a young lab technician who has created a time machine while he is also aware of the many dangers that go into time travel. Barbara Goenaga is excellent as a young woman who would unknowingly play a role into the chaos as she would be nude unaware of what Hector wants and such. Candela Fernandez is brilliant as Hector’s wife Clara as a woman who is just trying to renovate her home while is later confused by all of the chaos that is happening around her. Finally, there’s Karra Elejalde in a phenomenal performance as Hector as a man whose curiosity into the things he sees gets him into trouble as he then deals with being a time traveler as well as some of the chaos he creates as it is a performance with some humor but also a man who also rationalizes on what he is dealing with.

Los Cronocrimenes is a marvelous film from Nacho Vigalondo. Featuring a great cast, effective ideas on time travel, and its witty approach to suspense. It is a film that play into the idea of time travel as well as what a man tries to do for his own future while also having to deal with the events of that day. In the end, Los Cronocrimenes is a remarkable film from Nacho Vigalondo.

Nacho Vigalondo Films: (Extraterrestrial (2011 film)) – (Open Windows) – Colossal (2016 film)

© thevoid99 2022


ruth said...

I've heard great things about this film, an interesting take on a time-travel idea.

thevoid99 said...

@ruth-This is an interesting film and it shows how to do a sci-fi film with a low budget and in a single area but it works.