Probably the best time travel movie that isn’t Back to the Future.
It’s been a while since I first watched ‘Timecrimes’ (the English title for this Spanish movie) but repeat viewings only make the experience more enjoyable.
The first half plays like a horror drama. A middle aged man spots a girl alone in the woods and goes to investigate, only to be chased by a scissor wielding bandaged maniac. He flees and comes across a science facility where he ends up entering a time machine which sends him back a few hours…
You need to make sure you’ve been paying attention to every detail up until now (and from now on) because pretty much everything you’ve seen so far is part of the puzzle and a perfect lesson in how every action can have an effect on something else, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem. Not only does our central character encounter his past self, but also his future self! Like Marty McFly in the aforementioned Back to the Future, he has to remember where every version of himself is at any moment and take care not to make things worse by affecting their paths.
With no special effects, and only 4 speaking characters, this is simple and ingenious and a truly satisfying workout for the brain.