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Los Cronocrímenes
Timecrimes movie poster
Design by Barfutura
Directed by Nacho Vigalondo
Produced by Eduardo Carneros
Jorge Gómez
Written by Nacho Vigalondo
Starring Karra Elejalde
Nacho Vigalondo
Candela Fernández
Bárbara Goenaga
Music by Eugenio Mira
Cinematography Flavio Martinez Labiano
Edited by Jose Luis Romeu
Distributed by Karbo Vantas Entertainment
Release dates
September 20, 2007
(USA, Fantastic Fest)
October 11, 2007 (Spain)
Running time
92 minutes
Country Spain
Language Spanish
Budget $2,600,000
Box office $553,198 (Worldwide)

Timecrimes (Spanish: Los Cronocrímenes) is a 2007 science fiction film with a time loop plot, written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo.


In the Spanish countryside, a middle-aged man named Héctor (Karra Elejalde) and his wife (Candela Fernández) live in a home that they are renovating. Héctor looks at the forest behind their house with binoculars, when he sees someone who turns out to be a young woman undressing. His wife leaves to go shopping so he investigates, only to be stabbed and chased by a mysterious man wearing pink bandages on his face. After fleeing and breaking into a mysterious building, Héctor is contacted by a scientist (Nacho Vigalondo), who warns him of the bandaged man and guides him to his location, promising safety. The scientist convinces Héctor to hide from the bandaged man in a large mechanical device. However, when he leaves the machine, he discovers that he has traveled approximately an hour back in time.

The scientist explains that the machine is an experimental time travel device, and refers to Héctor as "Héctor 2". The scientist tells him that they need to stay where they are and let the events unfold as normal. Despite the scientist's objections, Héctor 2 eventually flees in the scientist's car, only to be run off the road by a truck, cutting his head which he wraps in the bandage from his arm wound, the bandage turns pink when absorbing the blood from the wound, giving Hector the same appearance as the mysterious man. After being rescued by the young girl whom he earlier viewed in the forest, he proceeds to try to replicate the events that he previously witnessed as Héctor 1 by making the girl undress in the view of him, knocking her out and laying her naked on the ground and then stabbing Hector 1 in the arm as he arrives to investigate. After this the girl escapes, and Héctor 2 returns to his home where he hears a scream, ending up chasing a woman through his house and onto the roof. When he attempts to grab her, she slips and falls to her death. Seeing the body from the roof, Héctor believes he has accidentally killed his wife.

Héctor then contacts the scientist over a walkie-talkie and, remembering Héctor 1, convinces the scientist to lure his past self to the lab with warnings that he is being pursued. After driving to the lab, Héctor 2 insists that he must travel one more time, much to the objections of the scientist, who reveals that there is a Héctor 3, who not only dictated the events of the film but also stated that he must stop Héctor 2.

After removing his bandages, Héctor 3 convinces the scientist to send him back several seconds before Héctor 2 appears. On arriving, he takes another vehicle, and follows Héctor 2. He runs Héctor 2 off the road, but crashes his own vehicle, knocking himself unconscious. On waking later, he contacts the scientist by walkie-talkie and tells him he has failed, and to stop Héctor 2 by any means. He accidentally surprises the girl, causing her to scream. Since Héctor 2 is following the noise, Héctor 3 and the young girl take refuge in Héctor's house. Upon finding his wife, who is startled by Héctor 2 approaching the house, Héctor 3 hides his wife in his shed before setting up the events that lead to the roof accident; most notably, he finds the young girl, cuts her ponytail off and gives her his wife's coat, and tells her to run upstairs.

Whilst the events on the roof unfold, Héctor 3 sits on his lawn with his wife; while Héctor 2 accidentally kills the young girl and drives off in the wife's car, Héctor 3 prevents his wife from interfering as emergency vehicles are heard approaching in the distance.


  • Karra Elejalde as Héctor
  • Candela Fernandez as Clara
  • Barbara Goenaga as the girl in the forest
  • Nacho Vigalondo as the scientist
  • Juan Inciarte as Occasional Héctor


Critical response[edit]

Los Cronocrímenes has a "certified fresh" score on Rotten Tomatoes based on 70 reviews with an average rating of 7 out of 10. The critical consensus states, "Los Cronocrímenes is a low-budget thriller that's well-crafted and loaded with dark humor and bizarre twists."[1] The film also has a score of 68 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 15 critics indicating "generally favorable reviews."[2]

Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times noted the role of female frontal nudity and fast-paced action in making a time-travel film with no special effects. She praised writer/director Nacho Vigalondo's "audacity" in being able to create "urgency and disorientation from the thinnest of air" despite the film's low budget and lack of special effects.[3] Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe doubted whether Los Cronocrimenes actually makes sense but credited Vigalondo with making clever use of the time machine in order to allay the viewer's skepticism. Referring to the planned remake by director David Cronenberg, and alluding to Héctor's "human sequels", Morris concluded that Los Cronocrimenes "deserves a doppelganger".[4] In a retrospective, A. A. Dowd of The A.V. Club identified the film as an an allegory about adultery, as Hector's increasingly complex and confusing actions mirror those taken to protect the lies involved in an affair.[5]


  • Best Picture at 2007 Fantastic Fest (USA)
  • Gold Medal of Jury Award Competition in 2007 Fantastic Fest (USA)
  • Silver Medal of Audience Award Competition in 2007 Fantastic Fest (USA)


An English language remake was originally planned to happen with United Artists, however the project never came into fruition and hit a deadline with no product. The project has moved to DreamWorks with Steve Zaillian attached to write and produce.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/time_crimes/
  2. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/movie/timecrimes
  3. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (12 December 2008). "Time Marches Backward, Determination Forward". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Morris, Wesley (23 January 2009). "Time is of the essence in metaphysical thriller". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  5. ^ Dowd, A. A. (15 November 2013). "Adultery is the real crime of Timecrimes". The A. V. Club. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  6. ^ Timecrimes remake studio move at Moviefone blog

External links[edit]