One of the most pleasant surprises of Fantastic Fest this year was Timecrimes (Los Cronocrimenes), which had its world premiere at the Austin fest -- and won the top prize. I went to the second screening at the festival after the audience at the first screening urged the rest of us not to miss it. Not only was the movie itself supposed to be good, but Spanish writer/director Nacho Vigalondo's Q&A was also getting buzz. (The funniest parts are unsuitable for family reading.) The movie lived up to the hype, although the plot was almost too clever for its own good.
As you might guess from the title, Timecrimes does involve time travel, but first and foremost it's a suspense thriller. Hector (Karra Elejalde) and his wife are spending a routine afternoon unpacking furniture at their new house in the country, but things aren't quite perfect. First, Hector receives an odd phone call. Then as he lounges in the backyard with binoculars, he catches a glimpse of a topless woman in the woods behind the yard. He decides to explore the wooded area, perhaps hoping for more salacious peeks, and that's when everything starts to go wrong. A man with a bandaged face seems to be attacking him, and Hector escapes to a very strange scientific facility manned by a lone scientist (Vigalondo). I can't say any more without spoiling the plot ... I hope I haven't revealed too much as it is.