The use of the theme of time travel can often lead to quite a perilous place. There is a necessary logic as well as delicateness that seems to be demanded upon entering its realm. Done thoughtlessly, time travel can become a point of contention, causing confusion and instability to the audience. However, the meticulousness can often lead to great payoffs—as what can be seen in the film Los Cronocrímenes or Timecrimes.
What stands out immediately is how organic the entirety of the film is. Despite of how integral time travel is within the film, there is a lack of extensive set designs or added special effects and oddly enough it works to the advantage of the film. Rather than bank solely on the inherently sci-fi nature of time travel, it overtakes it and uses dread and suspense to give the film its own take on time travel. Whatever fascination is often associated with the possibility of time travel is taken out the window by Timecrimes and places it under a more sinister and ominous perspective.
The main protagonist of the film is Héctor, an unassuming man who seems to be quite mild mannered, if not, a tad bit of a stereotypical man. The sound track lends itself well to the suspenseful theme that the film is going for. One is immediately on guard because this is not the typical time travel movie that deals with fanciful things such as correcting a decision in the past. Instead, what is revealed that it becomes more of an internal issue that, unfortunately, involves a few unsuspecting casualties.
The time loop within the film is set off by Héctor himself in an attempt to escape an anonymous bandaged man who set out to murder him. Slowly, it is built up that the very man who set everything in motion was Héctor himself. Soon, the events that were dreaded a few minutes beforehand now come into light. Through the very actions of Héctor, he has doomed himself in a time loop with no foreseeable escape.
It is this sudden twist of events that cause the audience to divert their emotional investment of support and empathy for Héctor to disappointment and aloofness. He is revealed to be a more despicable individual than what he lead on himself to be. Self-centered and conniving, all his actions that ultimately placed him in the situation he finds himself in also involved others as collateral damage. Manipulating time has brought out the worst in Héctor, turning him into a sort of rampaging beast that sought his self-interest that unfortunately lead to no avail.
Timecrimes was available to provide a different and darker perspective with regards to individuals meddling with time continuum. This very nature of the film is what lended itself so easily to utilize a soundtrack and shots that complemented its intention of a more sinister tone. It’s lack of flashy effects and extensively designed sets allowed the feeling of dread to sink in deeper due to its simplicity and bareness further accentuating the mood.