Movie Review: Wounds (2019)

Directed by Babak Anvari, Wounds is a 2019 horror film released onto Netflix in 2019. Will (Armie Hammer) works at a filthy New Orleans bar, frequented by his crush Alicia (Zazie Beetz), her boyfriend Jeffrey (Karl Glusman) and alcoholic war veteran Eric (Brad William Henke). When a group of underage college kids leave behind a mobile phone following a bar fight, Will takes the phone home where he and his girlfriend, Carrie (Dakota Johnson) find disturbing images and videos, and begin to experience sinister apparitions.

+ Armie Hammer’s Will is flawed and relatable, and by no means is he necessarily a good person, which makes for a compelling study of his character. Beetz as Alicia is, in some ways, forced to play the straight man, as it were, against Will’s increasingly manic persona, and she does it well, at a sacrifice to her own character development. I really liked the limited time Brad William Henke was given the spotlight, and his characters actually proves more important than you may think in Will’s story
+ there is some great horror imagery, both in terms of gruesome images and bugs… lots of bugs. If you’re squeamish with cockroaches, this might be even worse for you. A video on the lost mobile phone is incredibly unsettling, though I could do without the ‘quiet scene, SUDDEN LOUD NOISE, quiet scene continues’ stuff
+ there are a few good spooks, including at least one interesting background event, though maybe that was just my interpretation. That sort of ambiguity is key in these psychological horror movies, and here it certainly works

wounds_2
WIll (Armie Hammer) and Alicia (Zazie Beetz) on a wild night out.

– Dakota Johnson is wasted, outside of one short-ish but intense scene opposite Hammer. Her character is given some small backstory tidbits, but overall I would really have liked to see more of her, especially in regards to the more strange aspects of the movie
– the ending is incredibly frustrating, with the biggest question left unanswered. In general I am not against ambiguity in endings, but I would have liked just a little bit more to go on

> Glusman was kind of nothing in this movie (neither a positive or a negative) but I have enjoyed his work in films such as The Neon Demon and Nocturnal Animals. I’ll keep an eye on him.

Should you see this film: For whatever reason, the ambiguity in the ending of this film retroactively ruined the otherwise really solid build up. I was invested in Hammer’s flawed protagonist, but the lack of any real answers just makes me feel like my time was wasted, and I think if you watch it, you will feel the same.

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