The film tells the story of a man named Hector who recently moved into the Spanish countryside with his wife Clara to avoid the bustle of the city. Hector takes a long deserved break from unpacking to enjoy the countryside’s woodland beauty through his binoculars. A series of mishaps lead to him traveling thirty minutes back in time. What could go wrong in thirty minutes?
This movie, written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo, is a true testament to what the Sci-Fi genre should be. All too often a good science fiction tale is cluttered with laser guns and space ships. This splash of Sci-Fi under real world circumstances along with the eternal debate over the duality of man would even make Phillip K. Dick proud.
” Do robots dream of electric sheep?”
After seeing a naked woman hiding in the distance our blundering thickheaded protagonist is off! You can’t blame the guy, naked chick in the woods, part of a sexy sorority… I’ve seen that movie. But I’ve also seen The Strangers and Texas Chainsaw Massacre…
“Yup, right there… She’s naked….”
After running away from himself (aren’t we all doing that at some point in our lives) Hector finds himself being told to jump into a vat of milky white goo to hide from the person trying to kill him by an oddball scientist. Lo and behold this sends him spiraling back 30 minutes in the past. It is quickly explained to him by the only scientist on the estate that he cannot contact his wife or his house; it would have dire consequences. In order to correct the course of events, a plan is devised to trick Hector 1 into coming into the vat while Hector 2 (the Hector we follow from the beginning of the story) will wait it out, thus eliminating the Hector paradox.
“This is how time works. …No, this is not an episode of Lost.”
Hector unfortunately decided that he had a better way of eliminating the Hector paradox…
“The only way to deal with your problems… Scissors.”
The plan goes awry in grand fashion, giving you a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I found myself grateful for the little tidbits of information thrown at me as I relived the same night several times throughout the film. The director really made iterations of the same night feel new and exhilarating.
In reality Nacho’s explanation of time and the various “Hectors” is quite fascinating and merits giving the film a second watch. I would throw in one more watch just to keep track of all the Hectors. The film does have its faults, but it’s a must watch for any true Sci-Fi fan.
Do a Shot: every time Hector 2 gets hurt.
Drink a Beer: every time you forget which one Hector 2 is.
Drink a Beer: every time a new piece of information reestablishes what you thought you knew!