The always-reliable Timothy Hutton is front and center in the Spanish sci-fi production The Kovak Box -- but it's 78-year-old veteran character actor David Kelly who steals the movie whole. That's not to imply that the pair of performances is all that Daniel Monzon's flick has to offer; on the contrary, it's quite the nifty little mind-bender that I'd heard it was. Sort of a feature-length Twilight Zone episode that gets progressively stranger and more aggressive as it plays on, The Kovak Box is a low-key, compelling and surprisingly crisp little experience.

Hutton plays a famous science-fiction writer named David Norton. He and his girlfriend are attending a conference at a swanky hotel on the island of Mallorca. Things go more than a little haywire after Norton's girlfriend (actually, fiancee by this point) leaps out of the hotel window and splatters herself all over the street. (I'm not spoiling anything; this scene arrives within the first seven minutes.) Meanwhile in another section of the island, a young woman called Silvia picks up her phone, hears a tinny recording of Billie Holiday's "Gloomy Sunday," and promptly leaps out her own window. Unlike Norton's fiancee, Silvia survives her plummet.
categories Reviews, Cinematical