Welcome to Friday Night Flix, where there’s never a need to leave the couch or put on pants. Each week I’ll recommend an under-the-radar movie currently available on one or more of the major streaming platforms. They won’t all be classics, but every selection is guaranteed to be 100% watchable or your money back.
This week, our world tour of unheralded cinema takes us to lovely Espana. That’s almost how you write “Spain” in Spanish, except I couldn’t figure out how to make the tilde. My high school Spanish teacher would be so proud. Hola Senor Poole! The movie is Timecrimes, a/k/a Los Cronocrimenes (Netflix, $2.99 on Amazon), and it comes from awesomely-named Iberian auteur Nacho Vigalondo. I dare you to say that name and not smile. Nachoooo…Vigalondo! See?
Timecrimes, released in 2007, calls to mind 2004’s Primer, a movie that blew my mind so hard I owe it money. Timecrimes is nowhere near as chaotic or thought-provoking as Primer, focusing far less the science of temporal symmetry, and more on grim psychological thrills. That’s not to say it’s dumbed down. Rather the thought puzzles created in Timecrimes – and there are plenty – are driven by the characters, whereas Primer’s impressive mental calisthenics were an end in and of themselves.
Timecrimes may also remind folks of the very competent nautical horror flick Triangle, given its similar construction. But Triangle came out two years after Timecrimes, so it would be unfair to say Vigalondo borrowed anything. That would be absurd because to do so would require him to be able to go back in time and…wait a minute.