Something of a visual tour de force, a pointless one. Nacho Vigalondo’s over-twisted thriller builds little suspense, too busy exhausting itself in techno-onanism. Elijah Wood (no pun intended) is the laptop obsessed blogger who seeks digital revenge after a dinner with cult-film vixen Sasha Grey is canceled. Not that he’s initiated the computer hack of her life, he merely follows instructions from some unseen cyber-wiz who’s taken control of his system and won’t let him go. Suddenly finding himself in over his head in some nefarious murder plot (aided by a third party of camouflaged ‘helpers’), Wood is at the mercy of . . . . whom? And why? All happening in Pop-Up Windows cascading o’er his laptop without an edit in sight until, two-thirds of the way in, a car crash pushes us intermittently off the screen. By then, you’ll either have lost patience, the plot thread or just grown past caring about the next character reveal/plot reversal. Vigalondo, a natural filmmaker, keeps this airborne far beyond its natural expiration date. (No small thing considering porn-star Sasha Grey’s acting abilities.) But the mystery elements devolve into silliness, more like a detective drama parody from an old vinyl Firesign Theater L.P. where the lack of visuals made its brain teasing vagaries more fun to unravel.
SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Since the film largely takes place on a laptop screen, maybe it would work better viewed on one. Nah.