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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

Open Windows movie review: click to close

Open Windows red light

A disgusting tale that imagines its tiny side dish of commentary on toxic fandom and male entitlement makes up for it being a perfect example of such.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

It’s like Rear Window, except instead of taking place out the window of an apartment overlooking a busy residential courtyard, it’s all unfolding in the multiple windows open on a laptop. And instead of a journalist and war correspondent laid up with a broken leg, Elijah Wood (Grand Piano) is a nerdy fanboy obsessed with actress Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey); he runs a fan site called JillGoddardCaught.com (he probably doesn’t see anything creepy in that). But it’s not like Wood’s Nick Chambers is stuck in one little room — that could have been potentially interesting; he could have been an agoraphobic nerdy fanboy, maybe — he’s perfectly able to move about (laptops are portable!), and, indeed, writer-director Nacho Vigalondo doesn’t see any reason why a story seen only in software windows can’t involve a car chase and some other bits of empty action. Nor even why he can’t invent wildly implausible ways to get it all on a computer screen, either.

Oh, how far we have fallen as a culture! From a manly adventurous war correspondent who solves a murder without even getting off his ass to a docile, gormless geek who is lured, with a pathetic minimum of effort, by the faceless voice of Chord (Neil Maskell: The Rise) coming over the wifi, into spying in very intimate ways on the object of his slobbering by tapping into her computer and her smartphone. As streaming video and overheard Skype chats and purloined CCTV give way to the most ridiculous sorts of computer surveillance and intrusion that are not supportable in a non-science fiction environment, Open Windows becomes a disgusting tale of torture-porn-esque sexual debasement intended to teach a lesson to Goddard for being a woman in the public eye who dares to limit public access to her body, with a tiny side dish of commentary on toxic fandom and male entitlement that defeats itself by being a perfect example of toxic misogyny. None of the men here may be nice people, but they are not humiliated, and none of them are forced to strip — not even in a spiritual way — for the oops! not at all intended! pleasure of the viewing audience.


Open Windows (2014)
US/Can release: Nov 07 2014 (VOD Oct 02 2014)
UK/Ire release: direct to VOD

MPAA: not rated
BBFC: rated 15 (strong language, nudity, threat, violence)

viewed on my iPad

official site | IMDb
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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