The Reel Review


When a New Orleans bartender Will (Armie Hammer) finds a cellphone left behind at his bar after a drunken brawl, a series of strange and disturbing occurrences send him into a psychological tailspin in this horror/thriller now available on Hulu (and Netflix outside the United States).

Wounds is a horror film dripping with symbolism – Will is an emotionally void alcoholic living an empty, hollow existence, stuck in a dead-end job and a loveless relationship and obsessed with a patron (Zazie Beetz) who is already in a relationship. The appearance of the cellphone and its conduit to a darker world ultimately makes him realize this, hastening his demise, like a wound rotting from the inside. Cockroaches symbolize the toxicity of Will’s life, appearing whenever he is uncomfortable. By the end of the film, Will is VERY uncomfortable.

Director Babak Anvari maintains a consistent level of suspense and some well done chills through most of the film, and the cast – Hammer (Call Me By Your Name), Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2) and Dakota Johnson (Suspiria) – all do a fine job of injecting believability and realism into their roles. The big negative – the film’s completely bonkers ending, which frankly feels shoe-horned into what was up until then, was a pretty decent creeper of a horror film.


Wounds is based on the horror novella The Visible Filth, by Nathan Ballingrud.

• On the ending, director Babak Anvari says: “(Will has) pushed away everyone who has ever cared about him. He doesn’t know where he is anymore in life. He decides to dive into something he doesn’t really understand, this force he doesn’t get. He wants something to define him and his existence.”

Wounds, which was filmed in New Orleans, originally was scheduled for a theater release in March 2019, but was picked up by Hulu for an October release in the United States and by Netflix for release outside the U.S.


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