A man being pursued by a murderer stumbles into a mysterious lab and accidentally travels back in time. A
naked girl in the midst of the forest. A cloaked stranger with his face covered in bandages. A disquieting
mansion on the top of a hill. All of them pieces of an unpredictable jigsaw puzzle where terror, drama and suspense will lead to an unthinkable sort of crime. Who's the murderer? Who's the victim?
The strangest things can happen during a summer holiday. For ordinary, middle-aged Spaniard Héctor (Karra Elejalde), time bends in on itself. He and his wife, Clara (Candela Fernández), are enjoying the tranquility of their country home when Héctor notices a nude woman in the woods (Bárbara Goenaga). While investigating the situation, a man with a bandaged face stabs his arm with a pair of scissors, and then disappears. In a nearby lab, Héctor meets a technician (writer/director Nacho Vigalondo), who helps him to hide out in a strange hatch. Moments later, Héctor emerges to find he can see his house, his wife, and himself from the top of the hill. The scientist explains that he's observing his "mirror image" from the previous day. After leaving the lab, Héctor runs into the woman from the woods, and the mysterious events from the day before begin to snap into focus, and he realizes he can only set things right by repeating everything that has already happened. The Oscar-nominated Vigalondo's first feature has elicited comparisons to time-travel movies from Back to the Future
to Groundhog Day
, but in its reliance on clever plotting over special effects, his thriller has more in common with the low-budget Primer
. At the time of its release, United Artists announced that David Cronenberg would be handling the English-language remake, which is sure to offer up its own unique twists and turns. Like Christopher Nolans Memento
, this jigsaw-puzzle picture calls for multiple viewings to make all the pieces fit. --Kathleen C. Fennessy