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Open Windows, found footage-like that doesn’t suck?

Saw one of those ‘footage/found footage like’ movies that… actually didn’t suck and was quite clever. I normally can’t stop rolling my eyes at these types of movies, but this one was surprisingly entertaining and uses a clever way of camera work to move between different parts of the film.

The film is called Open Windows starring Elijah Wood. The basic premise is his character gets invited to a lunch or dinner with a star after she appears at this convention… only, things are not what they seem. It’s one of those movies where it is better to know as little as possible going in, so I’ll just comment on the execution itself.

Much of the action takes place on a computer screen, but the camera moves between different windows loading up, with different parts of the action, and those windows feature ‘cameras’ that are shooting in different areas. And the film moves quite a bit, in terms of screens popping up, moving between screens, and where the characters go as we follow, so even though we’re primarily on this computer screen, it doesn’t feel like we’re in a box, for lack of a better terminology.

The film is loaded with atmosphere and has some pretty good tense moments. The acting is solid, though mostly the film hinges on Elijah Wood’s performance and he does a good job with it. I certainly didn’t know what to make of this film at first (I saw a brief description of the film awhile back when I picked it up. Didn’t recall anything, so I went in completely blind), but I found myself drawn in fairly quickly and intrigued enough to keep watching.

I would say this makes like one of the few movies that I think actually uses this format well. This doesn’t feel like they chose to make the film like this because it was the cheapest option, but feels like an actual aesthetic choice and the film is designed around this, to make the film more effective. Most films that use the footage/found footage aesthetic would have been far more effective had they used a more traditional filmmaking process with better quality cameras… but here, the format is so integral to the way the film flows and how it works, that the film would lose too much had it been done differently.

Has anyone else seen this?

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