The Incident

Like Philip K. Dick’s Time Out of Joint and certain episodes of The Twilight Zone, this Mexican SF parable (2014) has two concurrent story lines. One involves a pair of criminal brothers and a crooked cop trapped inside a never-ending stairwell, the other follows a dysfunctional family stuck on an everlasting highway, and the stories gradually converge in a Lovecraftian turn of cosmic trickery. The structure is clever, and some ambitious visual touches—including a single-take handheld shot of the endless stairway and an oft-repeated image of a hamster spinning idly on a wheel—impart a sense of existential dread. But as with most failed sci-fi, this lacks an emotional entryway; Isaac Ezban, directing his own script, treats his characters like gadgetry, cogs in a soulless, mechanized narrative. In Spanish with subtitles.